In many parts of rural Rajasthan, or even India, a girl roaming outside her house alone is not considered normal or respectable. So deep-rooted is the patriarchy that girls are expected to be accompanied with a male member of her family. Despite cultural barriers like this, Sanju Gurjar has been committed towards the cause of girls’ education and empowerment. One of the most known faces of the village, she has been working as an Educate Girls’ community volunteer, called Team Balika, since over two years.
Sanju is the most educated person in her family and is currently pursuing a graduation in political science. The daughter of an influential community member, Sanju shares that it was her father who made her realize the importance of girls’ education and has always motivated her to study.
Sanju has enrolled 11 girls from her village in school as Team Balika! True to her belief, she even coaxed her brother, who was not interested in studying, to appear for Class 12 exams and graduate from school.
Sanju believes that for women to know their rights, they need to be empowered- and the best way to do that is by the medium of education. In addition to volunteering as Team Balika, she takes tuition for her neighbors’ kids, that too free of charge.
Praising Educate Girls for its work, Sanju says, “The organization has been the guiding light in helping me make my dreams come true. Had I not become a Team Balika, I would have probably already been married. Now I’m motivated to complete my graduation, and help other girls also dream of achieving higher education.”