Stories of Change

The iron women of Tondalpur

A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else too.

3 years ago Savitri and Tulsi, from Tondalpur village in Pillibhit, Uttar Pradesh, decided to be the ‘stronger’ kind.

Having completed their class tenth exams, both were asked to discontinue their education and get married instead, as per the usual norms of the village. This was not the future that these 2 strong young women wanted for themselves. This is where NEG-FIRE along with its partner Suchetna intervened. After regular discussions and successful attempts towards sensitisation of the families, Savitri and Tulsi were allowed to continue their education.

Through the Support Educate and Empower program they have got an opportunity to discuss issues related to their studies with the respective authorities and have subsequently also facilitated activation of existing government services at the community level.

Today, they have both completed their secondary education and are midway through their diploma in basic computer skills. They have also enrolled themselves in graduate courses through correspondence. They have since then, formed a bal group in the primary school, 2 kishori groups, 2 tailoring centres, treasure houses and have also helped 8 girls in getting enrolled in primary and secondary schools. Beyond these, they have also taken commendable efforts towards ensuring that there are proper roads to reach schools and have also made the Mata Samiti groups functional. These groups, along with Savitri and Tulsi now meet on a regular basis to monitor and ensure the safet and helth issues of the adolescent girls, children and pregnant and lactating mothers. These 2 women are also the contact persons of the authorities in that area for issues relating to women and girls.

Savitri and Tulsi have not just made their future secure, but also brightened the tomorrow of so many other girls in and around the village.

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