The story of Taetri Devi is a classic example of how education can make an individual feel independent, empowered, and self-sustainable. However, it is important to celebrate the struggles in order to enjoy the true essence of success.
Hailing from Dandol, a small village near Ranchi, Taetri Devi has a husband and two grown-up children. She works as a cook, helping to prepare mid-day meals in a nearby school while her husband is a laborer. Deprived of education throughout their lives, the couple managed to sustain their individual lives and family through basic skills.
Subsequently, she has seen dreams of higher education for children and a better house crushed under the weight of money – similar to countless rural women across India. While working at the school, Taetri Devi was unable to conduct basic calculations for grocery shopping or maintain records of purchase. She didn’t know numbers.
It made her feel embarrassed and helpless until she came across the Women Literacy Centre (WLC) set up by the Udyogini organization in her village. With the support of her husband, Taetri Devi decided to break the stereotype of education at old age by joining WLC. However, the real struggle began afterwards. Her job as a cook made it impossible to attend all the classes of mathematics, reading, and writing. Despite this, she studied the missed topics with determination and will power to improve her life.
As a result, Devi learnt the basics of numbers and continues to improve her calculations every day by visiting the market as well as maintain a purchase ledger. Even though her spoken English is weak, she can write short sentences now and tries to curate short stories. Furthermore, she aims to learn candle making for side income and eventually, teach the skill to other women of the village.
Today, the story of Taetri Devi resonates with every rural woman who dares to weave the dream of a better life with her will power and confidence.
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