My name is Jyoti and I come from a remote village called Garhi Khajur. I completed my schooling from my village school and though I had to face many difficulties, I managed to continue my higher studies. They say if one is determined to achieve their dreams, no obstacle is too big. When I started my college, I continued to fight challenges like lack of transportation and the mindset like ‘why does a girls need to get educated’. Inspite of all the odds, I continued my education and also joined the NCC club in my college. This helped me so much in knowing about the people and the society that we live in. Though education remains the foundation for all our futures, there are so many children who do not get access to even basic education. There are still villages in our country where education is not seen as a necessity. This dilemma of mine encouraged me to be part of Varitra Foundation in 2018. Varitra has helped me in not just closely understanding my community, but to also dive deep into the root-cause of all difficulties I have faced. This journey has helped me gain insights into the education system in our country. I have been fortunate enough to work for the children in my village and further, I could advocate for the cause of of education for all, irrespective of the gender or caste barriers in my village. One opportunity led to another. I got the chance to venture out of my village to learn. My journey with Varitra did not stop here. Varitra connected me with Pravah in Delhi and I was selected for their ‘Smile Internship Programme’. The internship further gave me an opportunity to explore more parts of the country and I travelled to Delhi and Rajasthan. It gave me an even deeper exposure into rural life, culture and their prevalent social issues. This experience has been very different and unique and I grew tremendously. I continue this quest of understanding myself and our society even to this day. I aspire to join the Indian Army some day and I am working hard to achieve this dream.

Jyoti (Garhi Khajur)