Anju, catches the eye of the people around her, with her sweet smile which reaches till the eyes. She is all of 17 years and her mother had already stopped her from going to school, to get her married.
Being born to parents, uneducated and not being aware of things that happen around, Anju was getting pestered day after day to get married to that Bus Driver, Sanjeev. Now, she didn’t want to get married so early. She too wanted to study like her brother, Rakesh. But, she never bothered to ask her parents about it – How come Rakesh’s studying and she is not ????
Then one fine day, she got married to that Sanjeev, even though she opposed to getting married to him. My God, she was hardly 18 yrs of age.
The next shock came, when Sanjeev came home everyday, drunk and started physically abusing Anju. She asked her parents – Is this you wanted me undergo, by marrying this man ???? But they didn’t know what to answer. Rakesh got very angry at the injustice, but he was too young for others to take notice of his reactions.
In a matter of two years, with two little boys in hand, and a lot of scar in her body and heart, Anju was left stranded at the edge of life. She was shocked at herself and the way life has taken a turn, with her. She contacted her only solace, Rakesh.
By that time, Rakesh, being an unexceptionally good student, passed with the best grades, got into IIT, Chennai, on merit. He got himself a part-time job and immediately went and got Anju and her sons to Chennai. He took a small one room apartment for rent for Anju and the kids.
First, Rakesh made Anju join a Spoken English class, so that she can converse freely with others. She knew only Marathi and Hindi at that time.
The other most important thing he did was, join Anju for Distance Education programme to do her graduation. Anju didn’t think that she can do this. But Rakesh sat with her day and night, to coach her, improve her confidence all the while giving her assurance that she’ll do well in life and her sons will go to school.
Anju started doing some odd jobs, which she managed to get, without a degree to her credit. All the while, she was studying through the night, to get her graduation.
Rakesh got into a good job, after his graduation and immediately got a flat for his sister and off he went abroad, as his job demanded it.
Over the years, Anju has struggled hard in bringing up her sons. Now she is doing her MBA. She has a good job at one of the leading banks as a Manager. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher. She drives her own car. And she speaks enough tamil, to bring other tamilians to shame. She is confident and ever smiling. She is a great inspiration to so many women out there. Her sons are doing well in school.
Yes, this is indeed a true story with the names changed. I was so happy to meet her, but was thoroughly shaken, when I got to hear this story.
This is a story of courage. Its the story where education changed lives. Its a lesson to the many parents, stressing on the need to educate their daughters too. And its also a lesson, not to marry the daughters off, in a hurry to any person who comes along.
Lets stand strong for the daughters to get educated and lets not hurry them into wedlock. 🙂