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Madina: A girl who fought for her right to education

Madina, a 20-year-old girl born and brought up in Lankapuri, Jaipur had great aspirations about her future and wanted to be a lawyer from childhood however her father believed education is useless for girls, he made Madina drop out of school in 2014 when she had just entered in eighth grade. Even in the 21st century, her father carries on his rudimentary mindset, he sees female’s life limited to kitchen and household chores, and thus he did not want his all six daughters to go to school. As Madina was the youngest she saw how her father had never let any of her older sisters pursue education after primary schooling but she knew her goals too well to be defeated by her father’s choices yet she had to bend her knees in front of monetary strain, her father was a tailor earning basic amount with the family of one wife and eleven children to feed their financial situation was very bad.

Madina was forced to leave her studies but never stopped looking for an opportunity to study again, she started stitching and began to earn for herself through tailoring. One day, the opportunity itself knocked on her door, under the Second Chance program of Pratham, Yashoda ma’am went to Madina’s House for the survey and talked to her father to get her enrolled with Pratham and start preparing for the board’s examination. Even after an hour-long conversation with Pratham Executive and two hours of convincing sessions by Madina her father did not change his decision, he stayed adamant.

She tried every possible way, told him how there would only be female teachers and female students but he did not change his decision. Madina now decided to convince her 10-year older brother first and to make him help her convince their father. But along with her father, her four elder brothers started opposing her decision too. Every single member of her family wanted her to surrender to societal pressure and learn household chores and get married off soon like her elder sisters. However, her mother has seen the problems uneducated girls face throughout her life and wanted to support her daughter’s dreams but she was helpless and dependent to help her own daughter.

However, Madina knew what a second chance could do to her life and how much it could push her in the direction of her future goals. She went to the Lankapuri center, got herself registered, and started attending lectures secretly, after a few days her father got suspicious and caught her going to school. She was left with no other option than to confront him, she became stubborn and told him that she has already registered and will be attending school irrespective of her father’s choices.

The fight was not over after just one argument, now her father used to make sure she could not study at all, he’ll try to keep her busy, won’t let her keep the lights on and even then if she takes books in her hand he’ll throw them away. Madina started to concentrate as much as possible at 10 AM to 4 PM school, and in a small gap of times when her father was away from home she tried to complete her homework. Resuming studies even after three years she bounced back and passed the Tenth Boards Examination in 2017.

There was no looking back now, she knew if she wanted to pursue the studies she needed to stand against her father and against society to snatch her right back. Madina

Was studying against her family’s will and hence she had to bear the whole expense on her shoulder. She used to do tailoring work to get her four to five thousand a month but with time readymade garments took over the market and she was falling short on money. Due to this, she started doing temporary part-time jobs of tele-calling, selling credit cards, finance executive, etc. She completed eleventh and twelfth grade in 2019 along with working many jobs.

Now the time came to enter college, her dream to become a lawyer flashed in front of her but she could not afford the fees and expenses so she opted for BA and is currently studying in the first year of Bachelors Of Administration; yet she aims to fulfill her dream someday. Girls like Madina who fought for their right to education with not just society but with their own family are the true unsung heroes we need to remember.

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