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Radha: A Role Model for other girls in her Community

Age 23 years, resident of Sangam Vihar, Delhi

The mentality of people in the community is terrible. They believe that if a girl is going out, she must be involved in something wrong. I still remember the day when I started working, there was a big fight in the community where my father faced several uncomfortable questions,” says Radha.

Today, Radha works in the role of MIS operator at ETASHA (the non-profit which trains marginalized youth to become employable and also has been the force behind her transformation). Brimming with happiness, she shares with me about her recent promotion.

I always felt bad when my father had to pay for my education expenses. The motivation to become independent came from there. And ETASHA made it happen”

Convincing the family amidst vehement opposition did take a lot of effort and courage, yet she never gave up. Along with graduation in commerce, she enrolled for an employability course at ETASHA. Today, Radha not only supports the education of her siblings, but also takes pride in being a part of the decision process of the family. Her mother is a tailor, and father has been a contractual worker but has been unemployed since some time now.

On being asked about gender discrimination in the family, she denies that. But is quick to add, “My sister and I were moved to government school early on in our primary education, but the brothers continued in private schools.” She ends with absolute assured positivity. “My parents always told us that because girls are smarter and can manage in a government school, but your brothers won’t be able to” she smiles.

It’s been almost three years that Radha has been working and is independent. She shares that the period has been full of challenges and personal roadblocks. And that she had to conquer them with a lot of effort, yet she feels very positive about the ripples of change that she has initiated in her community.

I feel proud because no girl in my family has been able to study till 12th. I feel I am a role model for them because I not just finished school, but also graduation and am earning now.”

originally published by womensweb.in

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