Wednesday, April 5, 2023

"Chandani Kumari: Rising Above Societal Pressures to Ignite a Future of Empowerment"

Chandani Kumari is a young enthusiastic 24-year-old who has two children aged 5 years and 9 months of age. Chandani is part of the latest batch of i-saksham edu-leaders' fellowship program in Begusarai. She got married at the age of 17 due to societal pressures as the eldest among her five siblings. Despite facing taunts and ridicule from her community for being an educated daughter-in-law but a stay-at-home mother, Chandani never gave up learning and studying. She continued her studies and even took home tuition for 20 children and attended computer courses while being heavily pregnant. She did not receive support from her family except for her husband but remained persistent.

Chandani faced many challenges, including financial constraints and a lack of support from her family, taunted by community members and elders for stepping out of her home and a dejected feeling she carries from her maternal home because of her early marriage. Chandani, however persevered and was eventually accepted into our I-Saksham fellowship program when she scored pretty well in the exams we conducted.

Chandani shares she was initially hesitant about joining the fellowship for such a low stipend and all the time it demands. However, after a few sessions and learning about social discrimination and the impact of poor education quality, she realized that she did not want others to suffer as she had. Upon learning the effectiveness and the impact the sessions have on her, Chandani she intentionally invited her husband to one of her fellowship training and another workshop so he can see what she is learning. She even invited her mother-in-law to the foundation day celebration as well, where hearing from other girls how inspirational their fellowship journey has been, her mother-in-law is now more supportive of her pursuits. She hopes that someday her peers too, will aspire for higher careers and make changes in their lives.

After two months into the fellowship, Chandani feels proud that she continues to be part of the program as she is busy learning new things each day and problem-solving, and no longer has time for gossip or stress over trivial matters. She is hopeful that her experiences will lead to drastic changes in her life and the lives of those around her. Chandani's hope for the future is to inspire and empower others to overcome societal pressures and achieve their dreams. She is confident that the knowledge and skills she has gained in the program will be useful when she starts teaching in government schools. 

In conclusion, Chandani's unwavering dedication to the fellowship, despite initial reservations about the low stipend than her previous teaching job and the time it demands, is a testament to the program's effectiveness. Her persistence in attending training and workshops with her husband and mother-in-law has not only influenced their perspective but has also strengthened their support for her aspirations.

By participating in the program, Chandani claims she has gain a deeper understanding of the impact of social discrimination and poor education quality, and her hope is to inspire others to break free from societal pressures and pursue their dreams. Her experiences have transformed her outlook on life, and she is now focused on problem-solving and making a positive impact in her community. As Chandani looks forward to teaching in government schools, she is confident that the knowledge and skills gained from the fellowship will be invaluable. Her journey is one of resilience and determination, and her hope for the future is to empower and inspire others to make a change in their lives and in society.

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