When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. – Malala Yousafzai
Our voices are our most powerful weapon. They not only are a source of inspiration but reveal our emotions and depict a story unheard. With this notion, BBC Radio India graciously joined us on our journey to hear stories of PROTSAHAN girls about their life , passion , hopes and dreams. Girls were having their moment in the spotlight for their voices would be heard across the globe. A spark in their eyes and assertive voice reflected their confidence with a keenness to speak and share their journey .
It was started with an introduction involving their age,grade, dreams, aspiration and the excitement reached it’s peak when asked about their life at PROTSAHAN. They remarked Protsahan as their family and an integral part of their life. “मैं कुछ दिनों के लिए प्रोत्साहन नही गयी | जब मैं वापिस आयी मुझे ऐसा लग रहा था जैसे मेरे शरीर का हिस्सा घुम्म गया हो | मुझे बहोत याद आयी प्रोत्साहन की |
“I was on a leave for few days, I couldn’t wait to go back to PROTSAHAN , it felt like a part of me was missing.” says Mala,16, an aspiring lawyer with a fervent personality. Our surrounding shapes our thought process which moulds our personality. Being in a home-like space which promotes creativity, enriches one’s personality , which in turn , boosts their self-confidence and love for the uniqueness they are blessed with.
Girls were elated to share their experiences . “मुझे चित्रकला बहोत पसंद है | मैं हमेशा चित्रकला प्रतियोगिता में हिस्सा लेती हु | मुझे कुछ अलग सीखने को मिलता है और मैं बेहतर बनती हु | मैं भविष्य में चित्रकला की अध्यापिका बनना चाहती हु जिससे मैं लोगो को इस कला का महत्व सिक्ख पाऊँ | “ I love to draw and paint. I participate in all the art competitions and each experience has helped me to grow and become better. Therefore, I wish to become an art teacher to share my skills and talent.” Says Nandini, 11 , a believer and dreamer.
Dance, an art form is the hidden language of the soul of the body. A dance teacher helps their student find the song in their heart, the beat in their feet and a passion for life.
Name withheld to respect and honor the child’s dignity , when she was 10 years old was thrust into the world of adults; her parents had decided it was time for her to get married like most of the girls of their village.
“पढ़ी लिखी लड़की अपना हक़ मांगती है और गलत या सही का फैसला क्र सकती है | हमारे गांव में वो लड़कियों को कुचलना चाहते है और आगे बढ़ने नही देते | मुझे ये गलत लगा , मैं पढ़ना चाहती थी और अपनी मंज़िल को पाने के लिए मैंने परिवार से बात करि , बहोत मुश्किल था मेरे लिए पर मैंने अपना हक़ माँगा और रोक दिया | मैं बहोत खुश हु की मैंने तब हिम्मत रखी | मुझे डांसर बनना है पर मेरे परिवार उसे सपोर्ट नही करता | इसलिए मैं पहले पढ़ना चाहती हु और फिर मैं अपने सपनो को पूरा करूँगी |”
“They believed that an educated woman is strong and will demand her rights . With a patriarchal mind-set, they wanted girls to be trampled under the feet of men . Now , 16 , she put her foot down and refused to become another child bride in a state where marriage of minors is a socially accepted tradition. It was a bold move by a young girl in a highly patriarchal society but it not only changed her life, it made her empowered. She wishes to become a dancer by proving her potential in studies to her un supportive parents .
Quiet the mind and the soul will speak. The mind is everything. What you think you become.
” मैं पहले बहुत शांत थी | पर जब मैं प्रोत्साहन में आयी, मेरे दोस्तों और अध्यापिकाओ ने मुझे प्रोत्साहन दिया बोलने के लिए और हर प्रतयोगिता में शामिल किया| अब तो मेरा बोलना बंद ही नही होता | मैडिटेशन ने मेरे बर्ताव को शांत किया और मेरा आत्मविश्वास बढ़ाया | अब मैं रोज़ मेडिएशन करती हु और खुश रहती हु |”
Manisha, 16 , was shy but after joining PROTSAHAN , her friends and teachers always encourage her to speak. Now, she has become articulate, self confident about her abilities and capabilities. She believes, meditation has been a driving force for her developed personality.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, the conversation with the girls was a symbol of freedom ,a source of inspiration to other millions of girls in different parts of the country who are devoid of their rights and freedom.
We all possess a gift, a gift to share , to change the world but most importantly to be happy with what we have. A nudge is needed to unleash the hidden gift embedded in us. True power is the power to empower.
The seeds of hope have been sown , the girls at PROTSAHAN are the torch bearers to spread the enlightenment.
Come, join us in our journey by volunteering , donating , sharing a skill and contributing in a way that impacts the community positively because a change starts with you.