The Girl Who Decided To Break Free
S. Jeyaprabha is a regular 19 year- old- girl, belonging to the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Behind her warm smile, lies an extraordinary tale of determination and courage, exhibited by few of her age.
At the tender age of 14, right after completing her eighth standard, Jeyaprabha was married off to her only maternal uncle, as per a prevailing community practice of South India. Soon, her husband's drinking habits took a serious toll on their relationship and she decided to leave him. She broke up with him at the age of 16 and decided to continue with her studies and enrolled herself in a nearby government school. There she not only went on to complete her Plus Two examinations, but also emerged as the topper of her school.
A year back, things were different and seemed bleak.The head of her government school had decided to bar married girls from continuing their studies, as they set a wrong precedent to other students. Fortunately things changed after a leading Daily- The Hindu, intervened and reported about this matter in their newspaper. Due to the pressure,the authorities relented and allowed Jeyaprabha to continue in the school.
Even after losing two years of studies, Jeyaprabha did not lose hope. She still harbors the dream of pursuing medicine in the future and wishes to work hard to attain her goal.
Daughter of a Backward Class:
Jeyaprabha's father belongs to a backward class and works as a cycle mechanic. With his meager income, she is not sure whether the backward class quota at government medical college would earn her a free seat. Her maternal grandparents refuse to part with her jewellery given to her during her marriage. But she is resolute in fighting for her education and is currently concentrating on finding a benefactor who will help her in furthering her dreams.
Jeyaprabha's journey so far is nothing short of an inspiration for many. There are millions of girls in India, who are still waiting to break free from the shackles of familial and societal pressure, to continue with their studies.The strength needed to break free is in all of us. It lies somewhere inside us, in our hearts. In today's society, we need more girls like her who accentuate the determination and courage of an ever changing role of a woman. We need more girls and women, who refuse to be meek and who settle for nothing but the best. The journey will only start, bit by bit, one step at a time and will gradually take us in finding our true self.
The picture attached is of S. Jeyaprabha. Photo credits : G.Moorthy