"I was always around strong women in my life who exposed me to different problems faced by women in our country. This was one of the reasons I chose to work in social sector. When I was struggling with the many uncertainties in the school, the interactions with parents made me realize that their problems were deeper than I expected. My conversations with the mothers in the community made me understand the importance of safe spaces for creating strong voice. That made me start the Project “Voice” in our community, a sharing circle where each and every mother is heard. It became a space for them to take some time out from their monotonous routine, to relax and share their concerns. Our community is diverse with people from different religions. Most of the parents are not educated and conservative in their thoughts and parenting. It was difficult initially to start conversations with mothers, but gradually they opened up about their financial problems, domestic abuse and entrenched patriarchy. All these were the basic problems which are observed in every community but I could see these impacting my students the most. And the mothers never saw these as grave problems because for them it was normal. Now with project “Voice”, these women who were otherwise used to normalizing these daily issues are actively participating in being vocal about it and problem solving.
I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity to work on such deep rooted, divergent problems had it not been for the Fellowship at Teach For India. I had plans for doing my masters in chemical engineering before joining Teach For India but the Fellowship enabled me to work on my passion of working with community women, making them heard and empowering them to be the strongest stakeholders of the society. Going further I want to pursue masters in Community Development for women studies to work with the people transforming communities where women and their opinions are given importance and respected."