https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=589164367760680&l=4569796792062009770 (Click to View Video)
The appended video features Meera Bankar of Khed District in Maharashtra. Meera was married at the age of fifteen after a family tragedy. She had studied upto Class 9 and had to stop studying after her marriage since she had to shoulder family responsibilities ( work in the fields, tend to the homestead) and take care of her in-laws. Fifteen years and three kids later, Meera decided to rekindle her desire to study further. The SHG (Self Help Group) Federation that she is affiliated had arranged for the members to appear for exams through the external route- i.e the students are given books and provided with training and are allowed to appear through the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University (http://ycmou.digitaluniversity.ac/).
Meera had to plan very well in order to make time for her studies-even organizing the fees was a major challenge. Her husband’s employment had stopped since the fabrication unit where her was employed had closed down-hence all the savings were utilised for the children’s education . Meera worked in her neighbour’s and friends fields to generate the funds required to attend the classes and pay the fees. She is confident of passing the Class 12 exam in the first attempt and wants to finish her graduation. A supportive spouse and a positive environment at home helped her to overcome the challenge. She also feels that the support of her Self Help Group (SHG) members helped inspire the confidence in her . “My example has inspired others’ she says and wraps up the interview by saying “The next time around many more from my village will come forward to appear for their exams and complete their education”.