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Breaking Barriers: Sushma’s Journey from Confinement to Confidence

Breaking Barriers: Sushma's Journey from Confinement to Confidence

Sushma, a vibrant young woman from a family of seven in Gurgaon, has recently embarked on forging her own path in life. Her father, a retired army officer, and her mother, a housewife, have provided a stable home environment. Alongside her are an elder brother and sister, both married, a younger sister studying microbiology, and a younger brother serving in the army.

Despite not facing significant financial hardships, Sushma’s challenges arise from societal norms. “In Haryana, girls are often expected to stay home after completing their 12th class, focusing on household chores and preparing for marriage. I’ve spent seven years confined to these roles,” she shares.

During these years, Sushma found solace in short-term courses, which provided her a brief two-hour daily respite from her domestic life. However, limited social interaction and freedom gradually led her towards depression. Recognizing her plight, her doctor recommended increasing her outdoor activities. It was during this period that ETASHA’s community mobilization team visited her home and introduced their programs. Her father recognized this as an opportunity for Sushma, although her mother initially hesitated, concerned it might affect Sushma’s marriage prospects.

Undeterred and resolute, Sushma took a bold step and decided to join ETASHA’s Computerized Office and Data Entry course, marking her first significant act of independence. Upon completing the course, ETASHA offered Sushma a job, recognizing her as one of their most outstanding trainees. This opportunity marked a pivotal moment in her life. Her confidence has visibly grown, evident in her demeanour, the way she interacts with people, and even in how she wears her scarf. “In this happy environment, I can now discuss my past depression with a smile instead of tears,” she shares.

Sushma’s story is a powerful testament to the transformative effect of education and self-belief. Her transformation from a life of confinement to that of a confident, working professional exemplifies the impactful change ETASHA strives to achieve in young lives.