Nothing can stop a girl from achieving her dreams!
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 12 Oct 2020, 4:56 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
“Educate a man, you educate an individual; Educate a woman, you educate an entire nation”
- Ms. Waseema Shaikh and Ms. Ummul Kher
11th October is celebrated the world over as the International Girl Child Day. The day amplifies the voices and rights of girls, everywhere. There are a number of girls in the country, who have to face gender-based discrimination, injustice, and social isolation on a daily basis either due to poverty or the narrow mindedness of the society. But one is always able to find gems in the coal mines, as well. On this day, Indian Masterminds shares beautiful success stories of two wonderful women who struggled to achieve their dreams and ultimately rose above all the hurdles to make their mark in the society!
Poverty held back Ms. Waseema from getting into a good coaching, so she self-tutored herself to give the civil services examination. She grew up in Joshi Sangvi, a village in Loha Taluka, Nanded district. Her mother was a farm labourer and her brother rode a rickshaw to support their family of 8. The mentally challenging condition of her father made him unable to work.
Ms. Waseema saw the clutches of poverty first hand. Her village was without electricity when she was preparing for her SSC Exams in 2012, but that did not stop her from becoming the Taluka topper!
She gave her first MPSC examination in 2018, when she succeeded in receiving the post of a sales tax inspector, but she aimed higher, and accomplished her dream of becoming Deputy Collector by scoring AIR-3! She gives the entire credit to her brother, who left his studies, mid- year and started riding a rickshaw so that Ms. Waseema could buy her study material, and her mother, who constantly encouraged her to fulfill her dream.
Ms. Waseema is the first graduate in her family, and her brilliant academic achievement is entirely through self-study as she could not afford to attend any coaching. She has recently gotten married and is happy that her husband and in-laws are equally supportive of her achievements!
Having the support of your family makes walking on a tedious path bearable but without that hand of encouragement, the path seems longer and darker. Same was the case with Ms. Ummul Kher, who was disowned by her family when she was 14 because she wanted to study more. And as someone living with a fragile bone disorder since a kid, it adds to the misery. But with sheer will and determination she cleared her UPSC examination in the very first attempt, scoring AIR 420.
Due to her disease, Ms. Kher has suffered 16 fractures and 8 surgeries to date. She lived in a slum and in order to make ends meet, her father worked as a street vendor selling clothes near Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi. She wished to study in Arwachin Bharti Bhawan senior secondary school, as it had better infrastructure and she had a scholarship with her, but her parents refused and abused her. They threatened of breaking all ties with her if she studied more and when she did not budge, they threw her out of the house, and thus began the darkest phase of life.
She took shelter in a Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) Cluster, Trilokpuri and gave tuitions to the children of the slums, to earn money. Her education was backed by Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust, later. In 2012, she met with a minor accident and was confined to a wheelchair, for a year.
Despite all the shortcomings that she had to face all these years, Ms. Ummul emerged victorious with flying colors. She cleared her UPSC exams in the very first attempt! It was her dream come true moment, and she had certainly worked hard to achieve it. She is more than happy to finally realize her dream of becoming a successful IAS officer!
Going through such stories of grit, makes us realize how strong girls are. No matter what life throws at them, they always manage to do wonderfully for themselves. Ms. Waseema and Ms. Ummul are heroic examples of the fact that nothing can stop a girl from achieving her dreams, if she has made up her mind to accomplish it.
Way to go, girls!
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