Rani, we all know means a ‘Queen’. This is the story of one such young queen who did not let anything come between her aspirations and herself. She was always steadfast in her commitment to herself and her dreams.
Rani was from the marginalised Bhil community and was from a world that was oblivious to the brightness that education can bring to life. The only children who went to school were the ones whose parents could afford to send them. There was also the discriminatory belief that there was no point in sending girls to school because they didn’t need an education to do household chores.
Add to this her home situation, which was nothing but abysmal! The family lived below the poverty line with Rani’s father Goma Ram – a labourer at the local stone quarry. Her mother Moharo Devi, had lost vision in both eyes and was completely dependent on Rani, the eldest of their three children.
Rani’s day began with preparing meals, first for her father to take to work, and then cooking for her mother and siblings. Following that she was busy with cleaning the house, washing clothes and utensils, taking out the cattle to graze for a local farmer, mending clothes, aiding her mother and a thousand other tasks. She had no time for school or for that matter, for herself.
One day after finishing the housework, Rani took the cattle to graze in a nearby field and she saw children her age carrying school bags, wearing uniforms and walking together down the street. Whenever possible Rani would sneak over to the school nearby and sit under the classroom window, silent and unobserved. She would then listen to whatever was being taught and would try to mimic the words and sentences.
After a few months, she approached her father to enroll her in school but he refused. However she kept at it and her approach wasn’t to rebel against her father, but to convince him slowly and through reason, gently pointing out the advantages of education.
Her father checked and found out that the Satya Bharti School, Shergarh provided quality education free of cost and maintained a strong emphasis on the safety and other needs of its girl students.
And the father in him finally relented! At last, Rani was allowed to go to school to begin a life of learning that she believed in and yearned for. Over the years, Rani won several school awards; her perseverance and hard work was recognized by the school administration and she was appointed as Head Girl.
Today Rani is looked upon as a role model by the girls in her village who have followed her journey in seeking quality education and improving their chances at a better life.
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