She has been a fellow with Varitra Foundation for more than two years and has helped us run post-school Learning Enhancement Centre (LEC) in her village govt school. Hailing from one of the most backward village called Tatarpur in Karnal district, Sapna had completed her 12th and topped the school when we first met her in early 2018. Last year, she became the first girl in her village to pursue higher education after Varitra's intervention. There was a strong resistance from the family initially as they were not okay with the idea of having an "over-qualified" daughter who may not find a groom. They were also uncomfortable with the idea of Sapna travelling alone to the city which is almost 30 kilometres away from the village and rather insisted that she pursues a diploma program in a nearby institute. Through repeated interaction with her parents, we managed to encourage them and Sapna to enroll into a graduation program in a government college in Karnal city.
Today, Sapna is a dedicated final-year graduation student who travels to the city alone every single day while also continues to volunteer in our LEC in the evenings to help improve learning outcomes of underprivileged children in her community. She also completed SMILE fellowship with a youth-development organisation called Pravah in New Delhi on youth development and leadership-building.
Where we work, mobility is a matter of both taboo and control assertion for/over our girls. Sapna who until last year did not see much of the neighbouring city today travels solo to attend workshops, events. In her words, she is trying to break this 'chakravyuh' or a menacing web - one step at a time. She wishes to become a Police Officer someday to fight domestic violence, alcoholism and girl child injustice - all of which is prevalent in her village.