Pavithra, an ex-Gurukul student came to visit us recently. She excitedly shared news about her 10 job that she had joined right after she graduated from the Sapient Gurukul last December. She said she was enjoying her work at Kumon centre in Bangalore, teaching Maths and English to students. She had an assured air of confidence, speaking with ease in English, and interacting with everyone without hesitation. For some of us, who had known her from the Gurukul days, it felt like this wasn’t the same girl! An year ago Pavithra had no knowledge of English, was scared of talking to people and was always fidgety and nervous. The present Pavithra had transformed, and she says it is all thanks to Gurukul!
The life she left behind
Pavithra was born in a small place in Karnataka called Davangere. She lost her parents when she was very young and was raised by her grandparents who were farmers. She wanted to study and lead a life of her own, but the traditional community at the village could not imagine a girl’s life beyond marriage and children. She was often called a bad omen as her parents had passed away right after her birth. Even with a family, Pavithra felt all alone.
She completed her 12 PUC but could not find a job because she was very shy and scared of talking to people. She was also not well versed in English which hindered her from applying for the posts she liked. One day, while reading the paper she saw an ad posted about The/Nudge’s Gurukul. Immediately, she knew her prayers had been answered.
A tough decision
When Pavithra told her family, she wanted to go to Gurukul which was providing free life, learning and livelihood skills for youth like her, they refused. Her grandparents feared big cities like Bangalore were a bad place for girls to go alone or live. They also did not like the idea of her working after she graduated. These were tumultuous times for Pavithra. At one end was her dream of becoming an independent, self respecting, career woman, and on the other her family that did not agree with her decisions. Ultimately, Pavithra decided to leave her family and come to Gurukul, just to prove them that girls like her could move away from poverty on their own.
Life at the Gurukul
Pavithra remembers how she detested her first few days at the Gurukul. She was not used to the disciplined life, nonstop learning, and the controlled environment where every hour was spent in grooming youth like her to be better and stronger individuals.
“I hated waking up at 5.30 am everyday.” Pavithra says. However she adds, “One day our warden madam scolded me for feeling sad and complaining about the discipline. She made me understand how the days at the Gurukul were helping shape my future life where I will have to work all day in an office.”
Life changed for Pavithra after that. She began enjoying the routine and her hard work paid off! She got placed at Kumon right after graduation.
“Today I am so happy because I listened to my trainers at the Gurukul,” she says. “I am earning a salary of Rs.10,000 at Kumon and teaching children a language I could barely speak a year ago.”
She has a dream of working with the elderly in the future. She also wants to encourage other young girls to not give up on their dreams.
“Did anything bad happen to me like my family had feared? Not at all! I am an independent woman, with a job. I have fulfilled my dream!”
Pavithra recently accompanied Atul for NASSCOM Product Conclave 2017. You can find more about their talk here.
It is easy to help more determined young woman like Pavithra achieve their dreams. Click here to donate to The/Nudge’s Gurukul to give them the life, education and right skills they need to succeed and escape poverty.