Saradha's story

A dream and a scholarship

Saradha facing the camera. Portrait image

 Saradha Krishnamoorthy


When Saradha’s family were forced to use their life savings to pay for healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic, Saradha faced the very real possibility that she might have to give up her dream of studying Development at Sussex.

Originally from India, Saradha says she faced a dilemma: whether to take the remainder of her parents’ pensions as well as a bank loan to finance her studies, or “do the right thing” and wave goodbye to her Masters at Sussex.

Saradha had applied for various scholarships to help finance her studies but assumed that she had missed out on them, so she made up her mind to turn down the offer of a place to study Sustainable Development at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). Then, Saradha received some life-changing news: she had been offered the Margaret Sharp Masters Scholarship. She says:

“When you want something with all your heart, the universe conspires. Well, my universe at that moment in time was Margaret Sharp.”

So what exactly inspired Saradha's dream?

Saradha continues:

“I was educated in India. Coming from a middle class family, I was fortunate to complete my schooling and subsequently graduate with a BTech in Information Technology. In 2016, I began volunteering for NGOs, mainly working in community development, creating sustainable livelihoods through skill enhancement and establishing fair trade social enterprises. I travelled around India for my work and witnessed first-hand the poverty that is so widespread in the country.

“Several years later, I was having a focus group discussion with some women in a small village in the south of my country. We heard the sound of a horn from a water supply truck in the distance and, in no time, women were running hurriedly to their homes. Why? Because it was the only chance for the them to fetch water to sustain their family for the entire week. In stark contrast, in this same country we have more than a hundred golf clubs, which use thousands of gallons of water every day to care for their greens.

“It dawned on me that I had two options at hand: I could either complain about it or I could find solutions to this inequality and make a difference. But applying for a Masters and getting an admission offer was only the start of the long journey.”

I had almost forsaken my dream when the Margaret Sharp Masters Scholarship came my way and helped me regain my hopes. I will always be grateful for the generous sponsorship and I feel truly blessed .”SARADHA KRISHNAMOORTHY

“Being at Sussex gave me the opportunity to interact with great minds and I loved every module of my course. My fellow students were as diverse as this planet, and I made amazing friends from all over the globe.

“Since completing my studies, I’ve returned to India and I’m working as a Research Manager in an organization called IFMR LEAD. I focus on various commissioned projects for the Government of India and the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. I hope to contribute more, especially towards women’s entrepreneurship and building better socio-economic pathways.

“The Margaret Sharp Masters Scholarship opened the door to many opportunities that would otherwise have been inaccessible to me, a girl from India. Thank you so much to all of those alumni who are making such a huge difference by supporting scholarships at Sussex. I find it incredulous when I look back and consider the experiences that I was able to enjoy, and all thanks to the generosity of our alumni community.”

Scholarships change people’s lives for the better. Will you consider supporting one at Sussex?