The girl who proved what a second chance could do

Bushra Khan is a 22-year-old girl studying in the final year of BBA but her journey to reach here is rather a long one, born and brought up in a village Amer in Rajasthan she grew up in a family of 5 sisters and 2 brothers where she had seen people without hesitation accepting the limits society has put upon them. When she watched her 4 sisters getting married off without a proper chance at getting an education she knew she would never let such societal norms ruin her life but when she reached tenth grade her parents made her drop off the school as local schools were coed and they believed their grown-up daughter should not be studying from any male teacher or with boys. She had to start helping her mother in Embroidery Work where they sew intricate designs on suits and dupattas for minimal price. Staying home she started dedicating her whole day to work and started saving money yet she never gave up on her dream.

She got to know about Pratham and their Second Chance program through some friends but her mother was reluctant to let her daughter go to school, Bushra tried harder this time- took her mother to the Eidgah center of Pratham showed her how there were only female teachers and female classmates at the end her mother agreed and Bushra resumed her studies in 2013 after two years gap. She studied hard and completed tenth board with good scores in 2014 yet now her family stopped her further studies saying tenth pass is more than enough studies for a girl, people would disgrace her and her family if they let her study further as no other girl in their community pursued such a course of education.

However with all her old convincing techniques getting exhausted she still did not want to accept defeat, she was adamant. Bushra stopped eating till her family would allow her to study and after three whole days, her elder brother and mother had to cave in. She studied eleventh and twelfth grade from Raj Public School and passed it with flying colors in 2016.

To handle the household, her father was having a local grocery store, and her mother with the help of Bushra and her siblings used to have embroidery work yet that was seasonal work with no steady income. Bushra’s elder brother started driving an Auto rickshaw and yet after all of them working hard, they could not have enough money on the table to feed everyone in the family. Bushra was now 12th pass, she was in touch with her teachers from Pratham Nandita Maám who helped her find a job in the sales department of a private limited company.

Her dreams were taking the shape of reality on one hand as she was starting her studies in college with BA major and helping her family with earning simultaneously. The job was full-time and she was ignorant of the corporate life, toiling very hard to learn at everyplace she could not handle this load on her lone shoulders, her father died of heart attack and responsibilities keep on piling due to which scored less than qualifying marks in few subjects and that broke her confidence. A family that relied on her father’s monetary and moral support was now left clueless and helpless but someone had to take the charge save the sinking ship and she took the hold of the flag.

With the loss of their father, she had to stick to the job no matter how much it could affect her studies although yet again her mentor Nandita Maám helped her and suggested that she should opt for another field that can align with her job profile. She now started Bachelors of Business Administration and realised her interest in the same and since then she has reached a long way currently she is in the last year, about to complete her graduation.

Bushra began the job with a mere three and a half thousand basic salary per month with performance incentives options. Her corporate life was rough at the beginning where she jumped off in the sales domain without any understanding of sales margin, point systems and found herself facing hard to achieve targets. Her initial work was door to door sales and she kept on knowing doors with each disappointment she took it on another door rather than returning back, this made her pipeline of potential customer grow immensely yet there came a time when her achieved sale was far away from the target, under new management the company was laying off employees with less than a certain achieved targets and she missed the line by negligible point. After the incident she was leaving for home with a heavy heart just when she reached the bus station her phone rang, fortunately one of the customers from her pipeline paid and her job was saved and she got a second chance.

As always Bushra knew the value of second chances better than anyone else. She took upon the opportunity as her turning point and made it into her motivation to do better than yesterday every single day. Today after five years her basic salary was increased to four times the salary she joined at and she is making the same amount of incentives in addition. In 2019 she achieved more than anyone in the company, entering the elite club; she was provided with an Award and a trip to Dubai. What could be more inspiring than a girl who was limited to even go to local school now flying across the world?

The girl who proved that any woman when offered equal opportunity, trust and faith could conquer the world. Her extended family has 13 young girls and now with her sparkling example her relatives started educating their girl child and these girls are dreaming to be like Bushra and make the best out of their education. Not just her family and local community but people everywhere need to see how much a girl is capable of and take the inspiration home. The girls like Bushra Khan are the heroes we should be singing about.

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