A few years ago, when Pinki was in class 9, the family faced severe financial difficulties. Pinki had to work on other people’s farms to supplement her family’s income and allow her to continue studying. She eventually completed her schooling and was clear that she wanted to be a nurse. But for her mother Rati, this was unthinkable. Neither could the family afford a college education nor would her community support such a decision. At 18 years of age Pinki was one of the very few among her classmates to have evaded marriage. Rati constantly faced pressure from community members and relatives to get Pinki married. So much so, that Rati too wondered whether marriage could be the answer to their troubles.
It was around this time that PCI launched Umang programme at the Self-Help Group (SHG) that Rati was part of. The sessions provided a safe space for women to talk about different issues, but Rati was hesitant to talk about her decision to get Pinki married as she feared the group will not be supportive. In one of the sessions, Main Sabla Hoon the group talked about the unique relationship of mothers and daughters. The session spoke about how social norms dictate how someone leads their life, and how mothers can stand by their daughters to help them resist some of these to live the life they dream of. When the women talked about their daughter’s aspirations, Rati finally opened up. She told the group that her daughter wanted to become a nurse, but she could not help her as they did not have the resources and relatives would not support them for such a step.
Immediately, the trainer and some from the group shared about the JSLPS Skill Development Scheme where girls receive multiple kinds of trainings. They also assured Rati that she could always take out a loan from the SHG to fuel her daughter’s dream.
This was the turning point! Rati excitedly told Pinki of the possibilities and resolved to convince her husband to support this decision. Today, Pinki is the only girl from her community to enrol in a graduation course and is also undergoing a nursing training under the Deendayal Upadhyay Village Skill Programme.
Pinki today feels her dreams are coming true because of her mother who found the resources, supported her, convinced her father, and stood up to those who said that girls should not be sent outside the village for further education.
She credits project UMANG in doing a great job of convincing mothers!
To read more about the process behind the creation of the UMANG Package, click here: Umang: Mothers clear the path for daughters (stratcomm.in)