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Meet the only girl student at IIM Ranchi

Last updated on: October 5, 2010 18:11 IST

Image: Piyusha Baghel leading her batchmates at IIM Ranch in this group picture
Photographs: Pagalguy Lajwanti Dsouza,

On a visit to the IIM Ranchi campus last week, I was allowed a peep into just one room in the students' hostel building.

Spick and span, the room looked welcoming and refreshing (to what one thought a management student's hostel room is supposed to look like). The bedspreads were crisply laid, clothes neatly folded on a side table and footwear kept in an almost straight line near the door.

The group of students guiding me around the campus waited in silence for my reaction. When I looked back and admitted that the room was rather clean, the group burst out laughing.

Ankur Tiwari, one of the students, disclosed that the room belonged to Piyusha Baghel, the only girl student in the entire college.

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Meet the only girl student at IIM Ranchi

Image: IIM Ranchi

Being a girl, we knew her room would be clean, which is why we only opened up this room for you to see," Tiwari chuckled.

Piyusha Baghel is the only girl student among a batch of 45 who made it to the first batch of IIM Ranchi this academic year. But a tidy room is not the only reason Piyusha's class mates speak highly of her.

Piyusha also heads the Academic Committee and is the connection between students and faculty in times of stress and problem solving and does a pretty good job of it.

"If students face any difficulty in a subject or any other issue related to academics and I know the faculty or some other student can help, then I make sure the two meet," Piyusha says.

The petite 24-year-old can easily pass off as a first year undergraduate college student. Soft-spoken and demure, Piyusha breaks into a smile, as soon as she opens her mouth to speak.


Meet the only girl student at IIM Ranchi

Image: Piyusha's batchmates at IIM Ranchi

Primarily from Madhya Pradesh, Piyusha at first did not know that she was the only girl in the class. During admission, another girl was also in the fray.

But to her surprise, (rather pleasant surprise), she found herself to be the lone female on the first day of college.

"I was initially a little anxious but that lasted for a short while. My male colleagues made sure that I felt at home. Within a few days, I stopped feeling out of place," she says.

Having been a sportsperson during her school and college days, Piyusha said she was in the habit of being in the company of groups that were predominantly boys.

"I have travelled a lot as an athlete and a basketball player. Not many women take active part in sports from where I come from, so I usually travelled with male company.

That experience comes to my aid at IIM Ranchi as I know how to get along with them," she says. Her parents, back home in MP were also a bit worried when they first learnt that their daughter was the only girl around the campus. But their fears were subsided when they saw how protective her male friends were.


Meet the only girl student at IIM Ranchi

Image: Piyusha seated on the last bench inside the class

The boys also like Piyusha's company and swear that she is one of the best female friends they could have had. When deciding on who should head the Academics Committee, the boys unanimously chose Piyusha.

"Girls are more sincere and we were sure there was no one better than Piyusha. She does a good job of her task. She understands problems better and is very committed," says Shubhankar Rai, another student, and member of the Placement Team of the college.

Being the only girl, Piyusha is privileged to have the only single room in the hostel, while the guys jam it out in twos. In the classroom, however, she sits on the last row. She likes it there and is at peace, letting the guys grab the front-of-the-class attention.

Sometimes, Piyusha misses engaging in girl-talk but the enthusiasm of her guy friends makes up for the loss.

Piyusha claims that on a daily basis, she forgets that all she has for company are guys. When up for study at night, she walks into any of the boys' rooms to ask for help.

"There is so much of study work here that actually none of us even remember that I am the only girl. No time to discuss that issue at all. All that we remember is that we are all just students of IIM Ranchi and our primary task is to set a glorious path for the next batches of students who come here, besides excelling individually," Piyusha concludes.