Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Life to me was not at all Bed of Roses, it was full of hurdles

Life to me was not at all Bed of Roses, it was full of hurdles

By: Sumera. B. Reshi
Penny by penny I collected my entrance fee. Without letting anyone know that I am preparing for masters entrance examinations. I wanted to study journalism and this desire of becoming an agent of change sneaked into my soul when I was still a child and a witness of brutalities in downtown Srinagar at the dawn armed struggle. Since then, I made it my mission to stand up for weak and be their voice. Since my childhood, I had been told that I have to bow before every order given by man. I was made to realize that I have no value in this world. I, being women have to endure every hardship that comes my way in the present or in future. So my existence was negligible. But I don’t how and when the seeds of rebellion and a habit of challenging the status quo germinated in me, despite, every now and then I being made to realize that I am a scrawny sex to be protected by man.

Continuously I was asked to leave studies and settle down as early as possible. No one was on my side. I was all alone in this journey of self empowerment. I knew the best thing towards empowering women was education. Thus, my first tool to fight with the society was to liberate myself from the shackles of illiteracy and darkness. Also, I wanted to show to everyone that with this tool I can conquer hearts and minds one day.

The day came and I went to appear in entrance examination stealthily, not letting anyone know of my plans. I qualified the examination. I was happy to have conquered unknown and a difficult territory. But alas! My luck had something else in store for me. I faced strong rejection from my family forthright. My strongest opposition came none other than from my father, who believed that journalism is men’s domain and I have nothing to do with that. Rest of the blockades came from my other relatives. They termed me an outcaste, an outlaw, a rebellion, who needs to be tamed by tying a nuptial knot with someone who can act as my true master a la circus. They wanted me to perform like a tamed beast in a circus that can do whatever his master wishes to.

I rejected the proposal forthright. Putting the lights off my small and cozy room, I started thinking of my future course. After many deliberations my inner voice won and egged me to pursue higher studies rather than go for forced marriage. The biggest hurdle for me was my tuition fee and other expenses apart from family rejection. I was unable to collect a huge sum for my admission. On the contrary, at home I was treated as a rebellion. At that juncture, home to me was not different than that of a jail or a kind a celler with minimal contact with each other. No one talked to me, food was served to me like a beggar. It appeared as if I was an outsider or some traitor trying to venture into some unknown territory, which belonged to men only.

Besides all the chaos at my home, I decided to go ahead no matter what. I knew that to be a leader of my own small world was an uphill task and if ever I want to bring in a change I have to bare this discrimination shown to me by my own people. I stood up for my own rights, the right to education. This right was my birth right and I had to fight for my own rights. This is my belief that if I can’t fight for own rights, I can never voice for others. Charity begins at home, so, I tried to be an agent of change for my own self first. With my endurance I won the battle, which once seemed impossible to achieve. This is my story of self empowerment and I happy to have won my first battle, yet I have way to go ahead to liberate womenfolk from the darkness of ignorance.

ENDS ###


Beverly Rose's picture

Talk about courage and

Talk about courage and determination and persistance! What an amazing story. I know that anything is possible if one is determined, and you are proof of that! You have an incredible ability to tell a story. What a waste if you had given up your dream because of the hurdles. Thank you for sharing your story of standing up. I know it will inspire others. Keep writing, keep being that voice for those who cannot.

In peace,

sumera Reshi's picture

Reply to Rose

Hi Rose,

Thanks for your kind words. My life has always been full of challenes since the time I opened my eyes. This is also true that I have always stood up for my own rights. Sometimes people around me were very irritated with my ambitions. However, I believe we have to fight for our rights, may be we are born for that. I am still discovering life and I don't when my search will be over. But yea, if I have friends like you then the journey become all the more fun. Stay in touch.

Kind regards,

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative