-Bharti, Rang De higher education loan student
Bharti is one of our first higher education loan students and is currently studying Optometry at Sankara College of Optometry, Bangalore. She scored 80% in her 3rd year and topped her batch a few months ago. This Women’s Day, Bharti shares with us how she’s glad she didn’t give up on her dream and what it is like to be a woman today!
I am Bharti and I’m from a small town in Madhya pradesh. I belong to middle class family but I think being rich or poor doesn’t matter. What matters is how confident one is, how hard one is willing to work and that success never comes without struggle.
I have a dream. And the dream is to be a medical professional one day. But after my father’s passing, our family faced a lot of problems and I couldn’t continue my studies. I tried really hard; I applied for an education loan too but was turned down. After trying for many months, I finally thought of giving up. But I decided to continue to fight! I wasn’t going to give up so soon and life wasn’t easy for everybody. So what if I was a girl? I wasn’t weak. I resumed my journey of trying to complete my studies again and finally came across Rang De. Rang De’s loan and support have not only helped my in realising my dreams but also has also made me want to help other students after my graduation.
I’d like to say that every girl is intelligent, confident and should never give up. I’m proud of my self and that being a girl isn’t stopping me from taking care of my family and doing anything that I set my mind to because “whatever we do in life, we are never defeated, unless we give up!”
Happy Women’s Day!
The Rang De Bangalore Chapter conducted a ‘A Walk with a Changemaker’ with Ms. Usha Rajagopalan on 23rd June, 2013 during which she shared her story, the challenges faced and the hardships they overcame for the successes of the project.
By Usha Rajagopalan, Board of Trustees, Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT)
TheBangalore Chapter of Rang De organized a “Walk with a Changemaker” around Puttenahalli Lake with me representing PNLIT. Around 35 people from across the city and the neighbourhood assembled for the walk which began at 11 AM and ended at 12.30 PM. I took them through the PNLIT journey from the early “save the lake” days to now being recognized as a “Change Maker.” This has been a journey in which we’ve been so ably supported by all our donors and volunteers. Two highlights about the walk will stay in my mind for a long time.
We had put up a small photographic exhibition showing the plight of vanishing lakes in the city; of Puttenahalli lake before, during and after restoration and of the rich aquatic life it supports. This attracted attention not only of the participants but also several others who saw the photographs and left. One man however, tall, bearded, with a towel tied around his salt and pepper hair stayed on while I made the presentation.
Talking about the effort to fill the lake with rain water, I went closer to the grill where the man stood, to show the group the newly installed diversion channel. I thought he would leave at least then but no, he didn’t. Instead he heard the narration and began walking with us. Finally, he said in Kannada, “Though you were speaking in English, I could follow a little. You were talking about clearing the lake. Yes, it does need to be kept clean.” Without waiting for a response, he walked away. This is an affirmation that I will cherish but how I wish my fluency in Kannada was better!
Another memorable moment was with Sowmya and her daughter, among the first people to reach the lake. The girl of about 7 years was clearly delighted to be there. Sowmya explained that her daughter had visited the lake in a trip organized by her play school a couple of years ago or so. Since then, every time she went past the lake, she had insisted on her parents stopping the car and bringing her inside. She validates our belief in promoting conservation through children.
An appeal especially to parents living in the vicinity – please bring your children to lake and introduce them to Nature. It is a lesson they will treasure for life.