25-year-old Juhi Sharma has been told to become a prostitute, to offer sexual favours at Marina beach and to stop begging by anonymous internet users. Her only ‘crime’ was trying to raise funds to study movie direction at a premier institute in New York.
This is revolving around the internet for last two weeks.
On April 11, this young cinematographer – who has worked with brands such as Flipkart, Club Mahindra and TI Cycles – got an acceptance letter from her dream institute.
She has been selected for a three-year Masters programme in Directing at the Brooklyn College in New York.
She was offered a partial scholarship but it will cover her tuition, living expenses and supplies for less than four months. When Juhi approached banks in the city for loans, she was turned away because they don’t support ‘cinema’.
“I climbed up and down the stairs of so many banks – HDFC, ICICI, Andhra Bank and even SBI but they all turned me down,” says Juhi. ” These banks that give thousands of loans for students doing their MBA and MS degrees said they can’t support loans for cinema,” she says.
With most of April and the beginning of May spent attempting to get a bank loan, Juhi was left with very limited options and turned to crowdfunding. “Crowdfunding is a beautiful platform where those who can afford to will help you in some small way,” says Juhi. “I am not begging here for the money. I am telling you what I have done so far. You can judge my potential and decide if you want to contribute.”