In rural Rajasthan, you may find quite a few youngsters who believe there is value in education. It would be easy to say that it’s rare to find someone from the older generation who believe so as well.
One such rare, dynamic lady is 60 year old Thavri Bai. She believes that education is important for all children, and that girls should at least study till Class 12 and complete basic schooling.
Although seemingly frail in frame, her convictions and resolve are strong. At this stage of her life, she is shouldering the responsibility of three granddaughters all on her own. Her husband suffered a paralytic stroke a couple years ago, and is now in a physically disabled condition, unable to work or move around much.
During monsoon season, she works at her own little farm, and at other times she works as a laborer at other farms or does odd jobs to sustain the family. Thavri has never been to school and can’t read or write. She had her granddaughters’ names added to the ration card and also got help to get notebooks and other materials needed for her granddaughters’ schooling needs.
Thavri educated her daughter, Rupali, till Class 8 and got her married soon after. Rupali gave birth to three daughters while she was married. However, one day, her husband married someone else and Rupali had to leave and come back to her maternal home. It wasn’t long until Rupali remarried and moved to her new husband’s house, leaving her three daughters behind in the care of her mother.
Since then, Kalpana, Heena and Laxmi live with their grandmother. The eldest, Kalpana is studying in Class 9, however, Heena dropped out of school after Class 6. Despite Thavri trying to explain to her that it’s important that she went, Heena didn’t change her mind about going to school. During the door-to-door survey, the Educate Girls’ team met Heena and Thavri Bai. With some counselling, she was finally convinced to go back to school.
Heena goes to school regularly now. Her elder sister Kalpana helps her in studying whenever she can. Thavri wants her granddaughters to study well and have a great career so that they can step out of the cycle of poverty. Heena too says she is inspired to become a nurse as there is no hospital in her village.
A strong role model can do a lot of for children and their outlook towards education. If you have had any inspiring role model like Thavri Bai in life who helped you stay on the path of education, tell us in the comment section below!