Interview with Gauri Manoj Sattigeri
Junior Essay Competition First-prize Winner
Twelve-year-old Gauri Manoj Sattigeri from M.V. Herwadkar English Medium School, Belgaum, Karnataka, won the first prize in the Junior Category of Amritavarsham50’s essay-writing competition. She was one of thousands of school children throughout India who competed in the competition, writing on the topic:”If Nature is our mother, how do we protect her?”
How did you find out about the competition?
“My Headmistress told our class that the Mata Amritanandamayi Math was holding a national essay-writing competition in conjunction with Amritavarsham50. We were given the topics that the essay would be on in advance: Human Values, Spirituality and Environmental Protection. I chose the environment theme because I wanted to write about how we must protect our planet. We must plant more plants and trees, otherwise, one day, we will find the land barren and the ozone layer may disappear. We had to go to our local Amrita Vidyalayam to write the essay in two hours.”
How did you feel when you found out that you had won?
“I felt really great! The principal of the local Amrita Vidyalayam telephoned me to tell me the good news on September 9th. I quickly told all my family members. Everyone started crying and I was jumping for joy with tears streaming down my face! It’s thanks to the grace of Amma and the encouragement of my teachers and family that I won. There are so many brilliant students in India. I really didn’t expect to win.”
How did you feel when you received your prize from Amma and the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?
“I was nervous because there was such a large crowd and so many dignitaries on the dais. But I was happy to see our beloved President and Amma together. I thought I was dreaming, but it was a dream come true! I was happy to receive my prize from our President in the presence of Amma, and when Amma hugged me, I just forgot everything!”
What will do you with the prize money [Rs. 100,000]?
“I will use the money towards my education and the education of my eight-year-old brother, Raghottam. I want to be a scientist like our President. I want to serve others in the medical field, and I believe that with Amma’s grace, I can achieve this dream.”