The Little Girl With The Big Dreams
Even as a small child I was very ambitious and focused and at the age of just four I told my parents I wanted to go to University in London like my elder brother. I spent the next fourteen years chasing this dream and although I didn't make it to London, I was the first girl in my family to go to university and study politics. This was a momentous achievement given that my family were extremely old fashioned and traditional and it was the norm for women to be illiterate and married off at a young age. I broke this mold and paved the way for future generations to study a subject of their choice, to be independent and to stand on their own two feet. After graduation I had big plans which included joining the civil service, travelling around Asia for a year and volunteering with a anti trafficking NGO but fate had something else in store for me. The day of my graduation (17th July 2009), my life changed forever but not in the way I expected it too, due to some personal issues, I had to sacrifice my dreams and to give up my career before it even began for the good of my family. I wasted four years of my life waiting for a miracle which never came but I'm not bitter because it made me stronger and I learned the hard way that too often the people who are supposed to protect you are the ones who hurt you the most. I developed anxiety, OCD and insomnia but somehow I managed to keep believing and to not lose hope. The turning point for me came when my family tried to force me into an arranged marriage, I realized I had to stand up for myself and use my education to empower me. I slowly began to reengage with the issues and causes I was passionate about such as human trafficking, gender equality and human rights etc. When I read about the Delhi bus rape, I both wept and vowed to not let that poor girl’s death go in vain. The worldwide public outcry inspired me and I decided that I want to set up an NGO which helps rape victims and domestic abuse victims speak up and get justice without fear. We have to start small at the grassroots level and change the biased and discriminatory mentalities of our homes before we can change societies views and get those in authority to both recognize and take seriously violence against women. It was just by chance I came across World Pulse but the more I read an explored the online community the more I became convinced it was the perfect place for me to start my quest for equality. The Voices of Our Future programme would be a priceless opportunity to learn new skills and methods of effective communication to reach millions of people and to access endless resources. It would also allow me to network with organisations who could help me turn my vision into a reality.