Stuart Kelter interviews Shilpa Raj, one of five girls featured in the four-part Netflix documentary, Daughters of Destiny, about growing up from age four in a residential school called Shanti Bhavan in Tamil Nadu, India, near Bangalore. Founded by and originally fully funded by Indian-American businessman and philanthropist, Abraham George, the school’s mission is to help children and their families break out of the underclass. Shilpa was one of the first students at the school, which opened in 1997, the new home away from home for 300 children, from rural villages or urban slums, from families earning less than $2 per day, nearly all from the group or caste called Dalit or Untouchable. In 2017, the same year as the release of Daughters of Destiny, Shilpa published a memoir, The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter. She has gone on to earn a master’s degree in psychology and is currently enrolled in a psychology doctoral program at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York.
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