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International Women’s Day 2022 - Inspiring Stories
On the special occasion of International Women’s Day, Khyaal celebrates the achievements of women.
We have featured a few inspiring stories of our Khyaal community members who have overcome obstacles, pursued their dreams and accomplished their goals.
Mrs. Dharma Sharma
I was 2 years old when my mother passed away. It was difficult to get over the fact that I wouldn't have her around me. Days passed by, months passed by and my father chose to marry again. I was happy my Amma (stepmother) gave me the care & love I needed. When I turned 7, unfortunately, I lost my father, “The man who's my real-life idol”. My world collapsed when I lost Baba, however, I gathered myself and worked hard towards Baba's dream. He always encouraged and inspired me to pursue education. I can proudly say my Baba is the first man from our small village in Noida who enrolled his daughter in school. I was brilliant in my studies and constantly stood first in academics. On the other hand, the situation wasn't good as I had to move out of the village for further education.
So, I shifted to my relative's place, who provided me with a roof just for a few months. Now, I was aware that my battle of pursuing education had already begun, and giving up on my dream was never an option. I constantly reminded myself of 'Jaha Chaah Waha Raah'. From shifting houses to houses, from just drinking one glass of milk a day to starving for 5 days at a stretch, somehow I completed my 10th with exceptional grades.
Circumstances were tough and so was I, 10th was just not what I was aiming for. I enrolled myself in Junior college and with the help of the principal, I got a job in the same college under the scheme, “Earn While You Learn”. I was content with myself as I had lived up to my Baba's dream and had served in that same college for 35 years. Also, I led the foundation of Pragati Public School in Noida on my husband's hard-earned land.
Now, my only goal in life is to motivate children to study and I work towards it in little ways like giving tuition to underprivileged children and educating maids in my society. I thought of giving back to the world the goodness that I have received.
Mrs. Chandrakala Golecha
I belong to a Marwari family, and my journey from “Ghunghat to Bob Cut” began after my marriage. I was bold, fearless, and high on energy, with a great entrepreneurial spirit. At 17 I got married. It was the day my surname changed from Bafna to Golecha. I am indeed blessed with a supportive husband.
Things were difficult in the beginning, I was not supposed to talk to my in-laws directly, and it was mandated to have my pallu length till shoulders covering my face.
Soon, my husband and I shifted to another house, and we began our business as a team. I was outstanding with my marketing skills and couldn't miss a chance to show them to the world. I participated in the World Book of Records to sell encyclopedias. I had to sell 83 units in a month's duration to break the world record. Indeed it was a stressful and challenging phase for me, but I was confident enough. On the same day when I registered myself, I had already written a thank you speech for the final day of the announcement. The day arrived, when all my hard work had paid off, I broke the world record by selling 86 units of encyclopedias, represented India in Hawai and recited the same thank you speech I had written at the beginning of the month.
From that moment, there was no looking back, and feathers just kept adding to my hat.
Mrs. Asha Gauri Shankar
I believe age is just a number, and at the age of 72 I love doing yoga, gardening, participating in various activities, taking online classes and I can happily say I haven't taken retirement as a teacher as I continue teaching at Sri Sri Sanskar Kendra. Also, I come from an era where there was no plastic, so recycling is a must-do action for me. I avoid the use of plastic and recycle paper in the best possible way.
Whether it's teaching or following my interest areas, I do everything with full dedication, honesty and sincerity. Since my father was a school teacher, I got a scholarship to study at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, in London. I accomplished my PhD from there and as a teacher, I've worked for over 50 years. I have always considered my students as my children and took my job as a responsibility towards my students and did justice to my role to the best of my ability. I was honoured with the "Teacher of Excellence Award" in September 2009, at the University of Delhi by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
We will be sharing many more inspiring stories of our Khyaal community members. Stay tuned!