Sometimes a single person can be an agent of change for an entire village or an entire community, in this case, almost 15 villages.
This person in our case is Sister Harsha.
Sr. Harsha belongs to the Prabhu Dasi Congregation Sisters and is working as a Project Coordinator at the Catholic Diocese of Jhabua, one of NEG-FIRE’s partners from Madhya Pradesh. With the perfect combination of knowledge, dedication and service to the mankind, she has done amazing things to change the lives of thousands of children in her project area and beyond. From community mobilisation and reaching out to the concerned authorities, to inspiring and helping teachers to grow and taking an active part in classroom and anganwadi (pre-primary schools) activities, Sister Harsha does it all.
She and her faithful motorbike have been to numerous difficult to reach places, sometimes covering around 80 kilometers in a day, in sun or rain or day or night. She feels that every child should be in schools and anganwadis and believes that the family members and the other community members if properly aware of the need for education and the educational rights of their children, have the power to move the world and make things happen for their children. Whenever she comes to know about any situation in her area which is hampering the child from going to school, she ensures it is resolved. The love and respect that the community members have for her is incredible. This kind of respect can only be earned when the people trust you and believe that you’re working for their and their children’s betterment. Sr. Harsha has gained this trust.
In a heart to heart conversation with her during a car journey, she told me that during her initial days she was shocked to see that children were only coming to anganwadi centres for the mid-day meal, they would come around noon with their bowls and plates, take the food and go back home. Many schools were not functioning and those which were functioning, hardly had any children. This needed to be changed. And that is where her journey began.
Listen to what she has to say about her journey here.
Sister Harsha is a beautiful example of extraordinary strength and courage. Together with her team, she has not only touched but changed so many lives in the villages in Jhabua.
Our communities and our country at large, need more women like Sister Harsha.
“Have courage and believe that you have the power to create something out of nothing”, – Sr. Harsha.