Saturday, June 17, 2023

Meet Sunita, the Silent Trailblazer from a remote Bihar village: Inspiring Transformation, Defying Norms, and Empowering Girls

In the remote and underprivileged areas of Bihar, where we are actively running the i-Saksham fellowship, the struggles faced by the youth are all too common. The lack of basic amenities and resources makes it incredibly challenging for individuals to access education and opportunities for progress.

Meet Sunita, a determined young girl from the small village of Jatikutiya in the Mahagama Panchayat. Despite the obstacles she faced, Sunita joined our fellowship in the fifth Cohort. She holds the distinction of being the first girl from her village to pursue higher education. Initially, upon joining the fellowship, she spoke very little and remained silent during conversations. She would feel shy when nursery rhymes were sung during the training sessions as she never had such an environment in her school. Her low confidence stems from her limited exposure. 
During a classroom visit by her assigned Buddy, in the underserved school where she is placed as part of the fellowship program, she expressed her desire to teach math but was unsure about how to go about it. To support her, the class was taken over by the Buddy. Many times, the children in that school wouldn't come to study, prompting Sunita to fetch them individually. Sadly, her efforts often went in vain.
There were moments when Sunita contemplated quitting, but with the support and encouragement from her buddy and i-Saksham team, she found the strength to persevere. This marked a turning point in her life. Today, Sunita confidently asserts her ability to speak fearlessly and has become an inspiration to all. Over the past year, Sunita has conducted engaging activities and utilized teaching-learning materials to teach all subjects in her school. She has witnessed significant improvement in the learning abilities of her students, with more children attending school than ever before. 

 Adhawesh Kumar, a teacher at UMS Jatikutiyal, shared an encouraging observation during a visit to their middle school in Jatikutiya. He noted the positive impact Sunita has had on the community.  He said, "It isn’t just that she is assisting us, but the fact that she comes from such a difficult and backward background makes all the difference and it is inspirational for all the girls in the vicinity! We have noted that since Sunita joined, the number of children attending school had significantly increased and it is only increasing. And if girls like her continue to grow and inspire like this, creating a positive environment in the society for girls and women is definitely possible."

Sunita's journey didn't end with the fellowship. She took the initiative to continue her studies and achieve financial independence, leading to her selection as a Maitri Fellow. She now works with the i-Saksham edu-leaders and team, supported by Educate Girls, to ensure every girl in Bihar receives education and enrollment opportunities. 

Sunita's life took a transformative turn through the i-Saksham fellowship. It provided her with the opportunity to explore the world outside her secluded village, interact with role models, like-minded individuals, and peer groups, and gain exposure to diverse perspectives. Empowered with resources, mentorship, and guidance, she has turned her dreams into tangible action. Sunita's story reminds us that even the most challenging circumstances can be overcome with determination and support. Sometimes we need to walk alone for some distance and if we are on the right path, we will meet like-minded people with whom we can share our journey. Let's celebrate her journey and inspire more young girls to reach for their dreams!

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