The Long for Opportunity
This article narrates how Reshma realised her potentials through an opportunity given to her through Makkala Samsath
Dr. Basavaraju R Shreshta and Usha R
This is the story of Reshma. She is like those many children who dream of a life with plenty of freedom to do things that otherwise would only remain a dream. For the lack of opportunity, most of the girls will never realise their own potential. Reshma comes from a full family with four other sisters and her parents. Due to conservative beliefs, the family had its daughters married early to avoid the society’s scorn. Being the youngest, Reshma got her opportunity to sit and interact with her elder sisters about life after marriage. The talks convinced her that she had to decide for herself what she wanted to do in her life. The immediate decision she made was to continue her studies. Thankfully, her sisters and brothers-in-law were supportive of her decision, an unlikely gesture in a society which took pride in deciding the fate of a girl child. Her father, also the product of the same society, did not shy from signalling his intent of marrying Reshma off like her
sisters. He had instructed her to stop school after completing her grade 10.
But, Reshma had already decided what she would do in her life. And it takes just one window of opportunity to make it count. One such window of opportunity came Reshma’s way too. Reshma had been an active member in the district level Makkala Samsath* organised by Sugamya Shiksha. In the previous year she was the honourable speaker and this year the leader of opposition.
Reshma had voluntarily chosen to experience this initiatives starting from spreading awareness on female different podium at Makkala Samsath. The intriguing idea drew media’s attention and as part of the coverage, her performance at the Samsath was elaborately covered too. She came across the newspaper in the school carrying the article and decided to take it home to show her family.
As she arrived at the front door, she found her family waiting to welcome her with gleaming eyes and wide-open arms. The news had already reached them through coverage on a local TV channel.For Reshma, she was more eager to share this news with her father than anybody else. But little did Reshma know she had a surprise in store. A friend of Reshma’s father had come across the news article of Reshma’s success. He had apprised her father of the news immediately. On his part, Reshma’s father was brimming with pride and praised his daughter to whomever he met along the way. On meeting Reshma at home, her father emotionally
expressed saying, “I feel really proud to be your father. Continue your studies and I am sure you are going to achieve greater heights. No matter what comes in the way, I’ll take care of it. You just go for it”. Reshma’s father could not hold onto his excitement. He went around the colony sharing her story of success with the neighbours. He even called the extended family members to share the news and urge them to watch the next telecast.
Reshma’s story was an eye opener for the village wherein the community serves as an inuential factor in deciding the destiny of girl children. Ever since Reshma did well for herself, other parents in the village have bettered their aspirations for their children. They now lend support to each other in their children’s education, irrespective of the gender. Reshma ensures that the school cabinet is active in tracking and taking decisions. A friend of Reshma coordinates the Savitribai Phule Tanda (Also known as Meena Tanda)*, as its secretary. She shares that it is the ideology and joint efforts of Reshma and Mamata that ensures a healthy and safe space for girls in the school. They take vigilant initiatives starting from spreading awareness on female health and sanitation to taking necessary steps like utility of the incinerator*. They ensure all girls in need of an incinerator understand the functioning of the incinerator. They go around the jatha in the village to create awareness about female health. The meticulous efforts of Reshma and her inspired friends have left the villagers speechless, reviving the dreams of the girls from her village.