UC Berkeley senior Aurora Ling wins first-ever ‘Live Life Like Tarishi’ scholarship award

Aurora Ling/Courtesy

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Tarishi Jain saw the injustices happening in the world differently than a lot of people. Despite her young age and comfortable life, she could see the misery that came with poverty and wanted to devote her life to fight for the underprivileged and poor.

When she died in a terror attack in Bangladesh last year, her parents, Tulika and Sanjiv Jain, started the “Live Life Like Tarishi” scholarship award to carry on their daughter’s wishes of world change.

Tarishi Jain was involved in EthiCAL, a group that creates clothing for those in poverty to enable them to start their own businesses. According to her friends, she was dedicated toward making a difference on campus and in the greater community.

Aurora Ling, a campus senior studying peace and conflict studies, won the first “Live Life Like Tarishi” scholarship award. Her essay struck close to the current world refugee crises because it described the challenges people face when constantly on the move.

Tulika and Sanjiv Jain started the award as a way to honor their daughter’s legacy. It was established when they came to Berkeley in September 2016 to attend their daughter’s vigil, which was organized by the International Students Association on campus.

The scholarship is completely sponsored by Tarishi’s parents and requires participants to submit essay proposals on creating world change.

“(Tarishi) wanted to create a world of equal rights, full of love and peace she wanted to study law and use her skills learnt from her education to help society to fight injustice in multiple fields,” Tulika Jain said in an email.

According to Tulika Jain, Tarishi Jain had a “fighter spirit,” was very compassionate and empathetic and always “thought above and beyond.” Despite having the best comforts in life, she wanted to work for the underprivileged and poor, according to Tulika Jain.

“She inspired many in that short span of life that she got and deserves to be honored and the scholarship is one baby step towards our effort to see her visions taking shape,” Tulika Jain said in an email.

In total, there were 10 entries, of which three were shortlisted. Ling wrote about her life experiences of being constantly on the move to narrate how a loss of dignity results from having to start over your life. Ling said she believes that giving and respecting dignity are vital ingredients for change.

Ling said in an email that she traveled to nine different cities as a child and overcame great financial and familial difficulties. She used this as background to express what she wanted to do in the future. Ling has worked with refugees in Elliniko, Greece in the past, where she helped create résumés for refugees to apply to local shops. According to her essay, in the future, she wishes to address the “ineffective” pockets of international institutions such as the United Nations, as there is a power for change in what already exists.

“Thus, this is my goal and hope: to be a servant to those fighting for a dignity that should never be challenged,” Ling said in her essay.

Tulika Jain said Ling has shown positivity and has fought for injustice despite facing adversity and struggling with her own life problems. Tarishi Jain’s parents flew out to meet Ling themselves after she won the award. She said Ling’s essay “touched our heart the most.”

“Everything I do is with empathy: through life experiences of having to start over many times, and a personal understanding of when dignity is contested,” Ling said in her essay.

Azwar Shakeel is the lead student government reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @azwarshakeel12.