YW 002. (July 16, 2019): Manju paves her path

“If you educate a woman you educate a family, If you educate a girl you educate the future”

Manju’s story is one such story of courage, determination, and hard work, that she put through to complete her education. Hailing from a small village of Islampur, in Pipraich block of Gorakhpur district, Manju had a lot of barriers that she had to cross to reach this stage.

“I come from a very poor family. My father is very old and my mother is not mentally stable. My brothers work outside the village and it is me who looks after the family.”

Like most of the girls, Manju had a dream to reach a place where she can financially contribute to her family but fate had some other plans. She had to drop out of school after 8th class as the financial conditions of her family got worse.

In 2018, Manju joined Ragini Young Woman Self Help Group that’s when everything began to change.

“Before being a part of YWSHG, I couldn’t stand in front of others, forget speaking. I was very shy and low on confidence. Joining YWSHG was the best decision I made in my life. Not only did it teach me a lot of things but it also made me aware of my rights and entitlements.”

Facilitated training and discussions, regular weekly meetings, helped Manju gain confidence, and made her aware of the best practices of menstrual health and hygiene.

Since the past 1 month, Manju has been voluntarily working as Health ISC She helps in disseminating information related to menstrual health and hygiene.

“Right now, I am looking after my family financially and also funding my education. I am in my second year of Masters. There was a time when I did not have enough money to complete my basic education and today I am doing my Masters. I used to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare for my exam as I was busy doing the household chores in the rest of the day. YWSHG gave me the ability to discover and groom myself, and for that, I will be eternally Thankful.”