Sushila’s family economic status has never been ideal. Her father struggled to provide for her, her mother, and her older brother, Prashant. When Sushila’s mother found work in a nearby factory, Sushila was expected to fetch water, cook, and keep the house clean. She would wake up every day at 5am to start her chores. Often times there were long lines at the community water pump, which meant she returned home with barely enough time to sweep, bathe, and make breakfast for the family before her parents left for work and her brother left for school. They used to walk together, but with Sushila’s new responsibilities, she was often late to school. Some days she didn’t go at all. She started falling behind in her studies, and her grades were dropping.
Sushila and her family attended a community meeting set up by Educate Girls where families and community leaders discussed the importance of girls’ education, and the problem with chore burdens for girls in the community. Prashant realized that his little sister was missing school, unhappy, and would be better off in school. He spoke to his parents and offered to help out with the housework. He agreed to wake up early with his sister and split the chores so that she would have more time to get ready and get to school. At first, their parents were confused; boys don’t usually fetch water and cook food. But Prashant insisted and so his parents relented. Sushila and her brother worked out a schedule so that neither of them missed school, and now she is at the top of her class!