KAVITA’S JOURNEY OF BECOMING A ROLE MODEL

Kavita is a 19 year old girl from a small village near Jhalawar city in Rajasthan. Coming from a place where girls are taught to do only household chores and farming, what she has achieved today truly sets her apart. She is now a role model in her village for every girl aspiring to get an education and achieve their dreams.

Although Kavita’s village was only a few kilometres away from the city, Kavita had never been there. She was also forbidden from continuing with her studies after completing her 10th Grade and expected to just stay at home and help around in the house and on the farm. However, Kavita could not bring herself to turn her back on her dreams of getting an education and being independent.

At this disheartening juncture in her life, Kavita was introduced to Educate Girls through one of the field coordinators, Bhagwati Sharma. Bhagwati introduced Kavita to Educate Girls and the work done by the organization. When she heard about it, she could relate very well to Educate Girls’ cause and the struggle of girls like her to step foot into a school and gain access to basic education.

When Bhagwati told Kavita about the roles and responsibilities of a Team Balika (Community Volunteer), she immediately offered to join us. Since Kavita was one of the most educated youth in her village and because of her enthusiasm towards the cause, she was selected as Team Balika for her village. At first, her parents were reluctant to allow her to take it up, as the work involved going door to door in the village to identify out of school girls, convincing their parents to let them go back to school and also addressing the community during village meetings. They felt that as a girl, she should not be speaking in public and stay at home to do the household chores.

However, Bhagwati and Kavita explained to hem the benefits of girls’ education and how it would lead to the overall progress of the village. After a lengthy conversation and the persistence of both the women, Kavita’s parents finally agreed. As Team Balika, Kavita attended various trainings that boost her confidence and she was able to confidently address a crowd and talk to the villagers abut enrolling their girls in school.  She helped Educate Girls’ field team with conducting the door-to-door surveys and enrolment of girls in school.

During the year 2017-18, she got 11 girls and 20 boys enrolled in school and in 2018-19 she got 24 girls and 18 boys enrolled in school.

Kavita was not one to limit herself. She always dreamt big and finally decided to pursue her higher education. She convinced her parents and completed her 12th grade. After which she approached Bhagwati and said, “I want to work, I also want to earn and support my family. I want to prove to the people in my village that girls are not a liability but an asset and they should let them study.”

Bhagwati introduced Kavita to Educate Girls’ Volunteer Engagement Programme that aims to employ the community volunteers in a field of their choice and make them self-sufficient. Under this programme, Kavita got in touch with Kaushal Vikas center (an initiative by the Government for skill development in youth) that was offering a free residential Hotel Management course for three months duration with a guaranteed job. She told her family about this once in a lifetime opportunity but her family was unwilling to send her to Jhalawar (nearby city) for three months. However, Kavita with the help of Bhagwati convinced her family and got herself enrolled in the course.

Kavita with her mother

Kavita worked hard during the three months of the course and finally got placed in a hotel in Ahmedabad city as a house-keeping staff. She has been working there for over 4 months.

Kavita came back to her village for a few days, taking a leave from work and she couldn’t control her excitement as she told us,

“I handed over my debit card to my mother which had my salary.  My mother was in tears and I could see how proud she was of me.”

Thanks to our partners like Oracle India, Educate Girls has been able to provide training to many of its community volunteers for them to enhance their employability skills.                                                                             

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