Jyotsna Kalra is Safecity’s Program and Outreach Officer in Delhi and a Lawyer in the making. She has aspirations and dreams for a better world with better lives for all. Showing deviance, she would personally prefer to go towards this journey of change not through the legal structures but on ground work. Due to scenarios in her childhood, Jyotsna is more driven towards and passionate about gender issues.
Fighting for an Education
Pooja’s journey and our relationship with her go way back to the time she first participated in Safecity’s campaigns in Dakshinpuri where we had just begun conducting awareness workshops and campaign activities. Pooja is one of the most inspiring youth I’ve ever met in our community in Dakshinpuri. The first time one meets her, she is very shy and reserved and she takes her own time to blend in.
She is an orphan. Though her journey to win herself an education has been filled with barriers, it is absolutely exemplary and inspiring and we can all try to take a leaf out of her book.
During her childhood, she was very clearly told by her grandmother that she would be allowed to study only till the fifth standard as it was not required by her to study beyond that. Fortunately, this phase of her life coincided with her association with Action India which she started attending more often for her mehendi classes. It was then that she got introduced to Action India’s scholarship program and she managed to get full scholarship. This is how she completed her schooling- completely on her own merit and hard-earned money. All this while, she put every single rupee that she earned through her creative mehendi designs to cover her basic expenses and also her tuition fee.
Later, when she was keen on going to college to pursue her higher education, she was restricted once again. She was ready to get herself enrolled in a beauty parlour to manage her college fees so as not to create any financial liability for her family. But she was burdened with the weight of household chores being told that they were more important.
Despite all this, she wishes to be a teacher and wants to purse B.Ed. After putting in a lot of effort she managed to convince her aunt to pay for the course and she really wishes to make something out of it and herself.
There are always obstacles and setbacks in life which bring us down, make us stop and try tear us apart. If we fail an exam, we easily get depressed. This seems so small and irrelevant when compared with Pooja’s struggles. Pooja, for me, is a live example of how one can surpass any amount of obstacles especially when the fight is for our personal empowerment.
Safecity is partnering with Action India, working together to mobilise the youth.