Nirali Mohanti came to SOS Children’s Village Greenfields in 2008 at the age of ten. She was placed under the loving care of SOS Mother Savita Mohanti. At the time of home coming, Nirali was a vulnerable and an emotionally unstable child. She used to remain sad throughout the day and was also insecure due to her traumatic past experiences. With dedicated efforts of her mother and all the village members, Nirali started to gain confidence and began to come out of her shell. Initially, she was placed in the village preparatory school for building her academic foundation. But, with her constant hard work and support from her SOS family members, she sought admission in Hermann Gmeiner School in Faridabad; she was admitted in class V.
Nirali was obedient since the beginning. Because of her good behaviour, talents and moral values, she was quite popular and adored by everyone in school. Along with academics, she was also actively participating in extra-curricular activities like sports, dance etc. Nirali opted for the stream of Humanities after class X. Her ambition for the future was always to become a lawyer or a social worker.
For Nirali, the turning point in her life came when she got selected for the Earth Watch Student Expedition Programme in the Himalayas (Kullu) for ten days in 2016. She was one of eight students who got selected for the expedition under the India UK exchange programme by Earth Watch Institute India, which is situated in Gurgaon. The Earth Watch Institute in India is a premier learning, educational and a skill development institution in the fields of Environment, Sustainable Agriculture and Technology.
This was one of the most memorable and thrilling experiences for Nirali in her life till date. During this trip, she got an opportunity to experience and understand different concepts related to weather, climatic changes, sustainable development, organic agriculture, different types of herbs and shrubs, epic culture etc. She also saw the famous temples and museums in Kullu. For Nirali, out of all the ten days that she was on the expedition, the last day was most unforgettable when all children presented cultural dance and music performances. It was an enriching experience which brought her more close nature and also helped in unfolding many spheres of knowledge. Her interaction with other children educated her a lot about other countries too.
Nirali says,“It was a wonderful experience that helped me emerge as a more liberal person. It has changed my outlook towards life. One day, I wish to make a difference in the society by bringing people close to nature, away from materialism.”