A story that can touch your heart. Life is all about giving

 

Girl child

 

The date for TCS W 10k is fast approaching. In our own little and big ways, we are trying our level best to raise money for a cause.

At this juncture, we believe this is a story worth sharing. In fact, it is not a story but an experience to cherish. Merlin – one of our team members – It is her story.

One day she was waiting for an auto-rickshaw to go home. She says she always prefer autos which are painted in green purely because they are comfortable. But on that day, she got a rickety one – all tattered. It was then, she received a call from one of her friends in Mumbai. She wants to know about Girls’ Glory and TCS W 10k. Merlin was explaining to her in Hindi.

After a few minutes, she got down in front of her house, paid the man the auto – fare and was about to go to her house when the auto-driver beckoned her. He was about 70.

To her surprise, he held out his hand with a fistful of money. It comprised mainly of coins. It would hardly come around  ₹ 200.

He told her “This is all I have. People do not prefer my rickety auto. Hence, I could hardly earn ₹200 a day.  I have heard you speaking about something where you need money for girls’ education. I have eight daughters and one son. I cannot send my daughters to school because I could not afford it. If this money could be of any help to support a child’s education, I will be gratified,”

Merlin says she was stumped and overwhelmed by the old man’s generosity and tears were rolling down her cheeks. “That’s hard-earned money that came with a lot of blessing. I decided to keep the money handed over by him as my treasured possession. Of course, I will give the equal amount from my money. But this one is mine.” She says with tears in her eyes when she recalled it.

“I asked his name. But he was not even ready to disclose his name,” she adds.

Her experience tells the truth. To give you need a big heart – A KIND HEART THAT EXPECTS NOTHING.

Best of Luck for each and every one who are out there to raise money for a cause.

 

Women with a Vision: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017

 

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Article by Abigail Terhaar, Clinton Fellow 

I grew up in a family of pioneering women, in a state, which was ranked as the 49th lowest performing state for women in the U.S. (out of 50). Less than 24 percent of women from Louisiana go on to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher[1] and at 12.5% we have the lowest percentage of women in our state legislature. But despite these indicators, there’s my maternal grandmother who worked as a nurse with her BSN, my paternal grandmother who has her Ph.D., and my mom who ran her own business. I recently learned that my great grandmother was the first person in her family to go to college and later abruptly left her small-town one school district as a teacher when she found out she wasn’t being paid equal to men. It was two women, Ms. Kelsey, my high school English teacher and Dr. Vanessa Bouche, one of my college professors who inspired me work internationally. I even chose my college major because of a woman, Senator Landrieu, who through a chance meeting when I was 8 years old ignited my interest in politics. I was lucky, despite coming from a location where statistically most women don’t graduate from college, for my family it was a priority and I didn’t face obstacles to receiving an education.

 

Before coming to India, I had only vaguely heard of International Women’s Day. However, upon the first March 8th I spent here, I realized that it was quite the celebration. Here, the women who inspire me most are the ones who may seem ordinary to some but are revolutionary in their families and communities. There’s my coworker, Shalet, who was the first person in her family to graduate from college and became a senior reporter at The New Indian Express before joining the NGO sector. Kalyani*, one of our students who was married at age 11 and has joined our center at age 30 in hopes of taking up her first job. Kavitha*, one of our interns, who despite familial pressures to not work and get married, worked at a large software company and is now pursuing her MBA.

In honor of this International Women’s Day, I was privileged to participate in a “roadshow” or march organized by one of our skills training centers to spread awareness about education women and about our program to develop skills and employ young adults. Carrying a loudspeaker playing Kannada tunes and proclaiming messages of equal education for women, we traversed the neighborhood, distributed roses and received quite a few smiles and well wishes in return. One women’s rights enthusiast we met, Mr. Leslie proclaimed, “Women are the best part of the country, if they are not coming forward, than the country will go backwards. You have to give full respect to women; they are the ones who brought people into the world. That’s the main thing!” Throughout my life and across the world, I have been fortunate to interact with numerous inspirational women and also men who champion the cause.

To see our Women’s Day roadshow in action, watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Mnl_39vsI

 

[1] “STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE STATES” Institute For Women’s Policy Research (2015) Web. https://statusofwomendata.org/explore-the-data/state-data/louisiana/

*Names changed for confidentially reasons

The blog was first published in http://aif.org/2017/03/women-with-a-vision-celebrating-international-womens-day-2017/

Shashikala wants to be an IAS officer…

Shashikala

When you dare to dream, the goal gets clearer and when you take the first step, however tiny it is, your journey towards it has indeed, flagged off. No doubt, the journey can be tedious and it is no different for Shasikala either.

This twenty-two-year-old wants to be an IAS officer. But she is not in a situation to dive deep into it, right away. For the responsibility of running her family consisting of father, mother, a brother and a sister is solely on her father’s shoulders. Her further studies would aggravate her father’s responsibilities. Hence, her first priority was to get herself a job.

Though a BBA graduate, she felt the need to join a skill development centre like Pratishtha to learn new skills and computers and make her employable. In no time, an enthusiastic Shashikala quickly grabbed everyone’s attention not only by becoming the top student but also by helping her classmates to succeed.

When a vacancy was noted in one of the centres, Pratishthta was quick enough to recruit her as a trainer. Shashikala indeed has taken the first step towards her goal. She feels proud to have become a trainer and believes she will bring further success to Pratishtha, while also building her own career.  “ Besides, my income would lessen the burden of my father. I can support the education of my brother and sister,” she says with a glint in her eyes.

Now, as a trainer, she is enjoying teaching and recently completed four-day training at Quest Alliance, the NGO partnering with Pratishtha. She liked the retail course and English the most.

With all the good things happening to her, it is equally important to note that Shashikala’s new earnings have allowed her to become independent, as she no longer has to rely on others for her sustenance.

Ends

Run for GIRLS’ EDUCATION

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Here is your opportunity to give back to the society!

Run with us and run for GIRLS’ EDUCATION

Event: TCS W 10k, 

Venue: Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore, 

Date : May 21

Across the country, thousands of girls are struggling to remain in schools as their menstrual hygiene needs are hardly addressed. For want of functional toilets they are forced to stay out of schools during those days. And this forced absenteeism is robbing them off their opportunity to complete their education.

Reaching Hand’s Girls Glory programme aims at preventing the number of drop out cases by building clean and private toilets in government schools. So far, we have impacted around 5000 girl students and NOW WE AIM TO MAKE IT 10,000.

Besides, we educate children on health, hygiene and menstrual management so that every adolescent girl should come to the school with more confidence and dignity.

We take this platform (TCS W 10K) to raise funds so that we can help more girls to complete their education.

So RUN WITH US and RUN FOR EVERY GIRL IN THE COUNTRY