The daughter of a laborer father and a housemaid mother, Rani, 13, aspires to be a teacher in a government school. She is determined to work hard, study well, become independent and lend a helping hand to her parents as she grows up.
Rani with her 3 siblings lives with her parents in a highly cluttered and swamped slum community in J.J Bandhu camp in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. Being the youngest child she studies in the 7th grade and has seen her elder sister going through hardships being married at 16. She doesn’t want to go through the same.
She was introduced to Sukarya's Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) program, a training session aimed to increase the health seeking behavior in adolescent age group and provide them with the right knowledge about various aspect of their growing life. She attended all six sessions of the training with much enthusiasm and motivated other girls of her age group to attend the same.
“Being a member of this group taught me to speak up about myself in school and to my parents", she says, " the physiological and emotional changes brought about by adolescence were frightening to deal with, alone". "My own mother had told me to avoid discussing such issues due to cultural and social stigmas", "however, after ARSH, I have been able to discuss these issues in an appropriate manner and have nothing to be ashamed of".
Today, Rani is a living example for other adolescents girls living in the slums, confident and empowered. They are able to speak out in front of an audience. The ARSH program empowers adolescent girls with the knowledge necessary to take initiatives for their own health and wellbeing.