“Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.”
“But why don’t you join the school?” Krishna asked the small girl. “Because I have to help my mother with the household work and graze the goats in the morning”, she replied.
“If you are willing you will accomplish whatever you want irrespective of obstacles” Krishna smiled and said. She started reflecting on the years gone by.
Krishna had a very normal childhood. Born in a poor family in Assam, life had been tough since childhood. Her father had left their family under the pretext of searching for work soon after Krishna was born and never returned. Her mother, Kaveri would wash utensils in other houses earning barely enough to meet their expenses. Due to these experiences since early childhood, Krishna somehow found it difficult to trust people specially men.
Krishna was fond of studying and aspired to join the school when she would see Babu’s sons going to study. She fought all odds to study at the village Primary School. Those days it used to be a boy’s only school.
“If you don’t teach, how will I learn” she had asked the school headmaster. Krishna was the first girl to be admitted to the village primary school. She would get up early morning help her mother with the household chores. She had to walk several miles to reach the school. Her grit and determination made it seem effortless for her. She would take tuitions for Babu’s kids in the evening. She even topped in her school!
Krishna easily managed to secure a scholarship for her post-graduation. She even picked up a part time job in the evenings to send money to her mother for supporting the family expenses. She would stretch herself to study and finish her assignments late in the night.
Krishna would have limited dresses for herself, rarely go out with friends or spend on herself; but she always wore her confidence, would go out the way to help others and spend on things that they need. Ravi, her batchmate was always in awe of her resilience. He had also proposed Krishna on the last day of college. She politely declined it as she had her eyes set on her goals. Ravi went to US to pursue his Master’s in Business Administration. He, however, continued to be in touch and helped Krishna secure a grant from a leading foundation in US to help provide infrastructure, study kits and internet-based learning for the school children.
Krishna now heads the school she had difficulty getting admission to. Thought she had the best offers during Campus placements; she chose to be back to her roots to bring about the change she had dreamt of during her early childhood. Even on a busy day, she makes sure to take out an hour each day to teach the Life Skills to small children. She likes kids who are inquisitive and encourages them to ask questions. She wants each girl to rise and shine. Her mother also encourages other parents to support education of the girl child.
Fighting all odds, she carved a way for herself. Krishna successfully changed the stereotypical representation of lives of females in the village. You can often hear her telling the students “New opportunities and new way of life is within grasp. We should quieten the chatter in the head to be able to hear the inner voice…!!!”
And other children in the village too are learning to live their dreams 😊