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Educating Girls One Cupcake at a Time

I was raised in a fairly privileged household in Bangalore with familial ancestry tracing back to a small village on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh. Every summer break, I would visit my extended family in the village as a result of which I was able to spend time with some of the other residents of the village and learn about their concerns. Although my family did their fair share of charity work — such as distributing blankets during the cold seasons and financially supporting the education of our employees — I wanted to make a difference in my own stead.

In 2014, I started a small venture called Wings on Cupcakes. The aim was to combine my passion for baking with my commitment to give back to my community and use the revenue collected to fund the education of underprivileged girls.

My first bake sale was at a high-end flea market in Bangalore where we collected around INR 16,000. I had baked 200 cupcakes and 150 brownies, all of which were gone by the end of the day. This success was very encouraging and I began setting up stalls at recognized shopping centers and five-star hotels like Taj Vivanta and ITC Gardenia.

Slowly, the business grew. I began receiving larger orders for birthday parties and weddings and began collecting sizable revenues from each sale, as a result of which I was able to support the education of three underprivileged young girls.

Growing up in Kanpur, I saw the discrimination that girls faced and the attitude towards educating young girls. This discrimination was doubled towards girls born into families that earned lower incomes and this was always an issue that bothered me.

As a young girl myself who had the privilege of a good education and a supportive environment, I was extremely happy to be able to work towards sponsoring girls that didn’t have these resources.

I’m thrilled with how fast the enterprise has taken off; today Wings on Cupcakes is able to support the education of 13 girls right from primary school through university. I’m hoping to expand the project into a legitimate organization that can support the cause of educating the girl child and makes a tangible impact on the lives of the girls around me.

 

Marisha Shukla
Bangalore, India

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