While the nation feels pride in women power, and Ministers keep announcing policies to empower girls and women, society follows its own pace to allow and absorb the same.
Harda, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, still believes that girls are meant only for marriage and to rear a family. In a population with stereotyped notion, that ‘Education is meant for boys’, girls do not find a place of their own. Right from her childhood, Rajini Gour too had to face the situation. But despite all efforts to discourage her, she struggled to continue her education. As she grew from one class to another, most jaws dropped and eyes opened wide, when she passed 12th standard with 1st division. But college education was still a luxury and a far fetched dream, as the family did not agree to invest further into her education. Her family eventually agreed for her education when the “Mukhya Mantri Yojna” offered her a scholarship of ₹5000 an year.
A tomboy with great interest in Kabaddi, Rajini got exposed to Karate in the first year of her college. Slowly she developed a liking for the sport, and it gradually became her passion. As her education and karate progressed together, a question kept disturbing her: “What after college”? The college sports teacher noticed this dilemma, and did his best to train her. And then he sprang a surprise by offering her to participate in a competition in Nepal. As soon as Rajini heard it, it became her dream. But for getting selected she had to win District level, then state and then the Nationals. The motivated and determined Rajini went on crossing all hurdles and winning all competitions. But one great battle was still left. The family had said a straight NO, to her travelling to Nepal to represent the country. “For two years, they did not talk to me” she said, but that did not deter her from her mission.
A determined Rajini in her second attempt, bagged the Gold Medal. The newspapers announced this great feat to the whole town. “In a small town like our’s photos and articles in a newspaper make a big big difference” she says. Life changed there on and everyone suddenly started loving her. But for herself, she had achieved what she wanted. Now a determined, confident and respected Rajini commanded her ways. She therefore decided to put a stop to this discrimination forever.
She started a school for girls where besides academics, she started teaching them the art of self defence and also bamboo jewellery making. “I want them to be educated, confident, self-reliant and independent, so that the future generation comes out strong and without discrimination” says Rajini. Already 10-12 girls have become regular earners, and are continuing their education.
From a town little known, she has made not only a name for herself, but for her town too. Although the world has progressed, but it’s not the same story every where. Still there are places where the shackles of society and discrimination need to be broken, and people like Rajini Gour are doing it with great distinction.
With her tagline: “Follow your passion, and it will take you where you want”, Rajini concluded and left us in awe.
Story by : Anshul Sharma | Compiled by : Abhishek Tilatiya
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