This mother in rural India is doing everything she can to guarantee an education for her children
Find out how you can help rural mothers in India provide a better future for their children through education.
As an urban parent, irrespective of your child’s age, you have already found yourself fretting about your child’s education. You make a shortlist of the best schools and try your best to get on their selection lists. At the same time, you also balance the family budget for fees and fit in extra-curricular activities after school.
In many rural parts of Asia, education is still viewed as a luxury. For these rural mothers, the challenges are often existential: having enough money for public school fees, or fighting social norms to educate a daughter.
Milaap.org, a Singapore-based crowdfunding website, works with non-profit entities on the ground to identify these challenges faced by rural mothers in India. Through livelihood support initiatives and study loans, they empower these mothers to keep their children in school.
This March, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the story of an inspiring rural mother. This is the story of Chandrakalaben Bevra, an underprivileged mother, who battled economic setbacks and social prejudice to put her daughters through school.
Read on for Chadrakalaben’s story of strength and triumph over poverty and social barriers
38-year-old Chandrakalaben lives in a dilapidated single-room house in rural Chandkheda, Gujarat. She has supported her five children by sewing for 20 years now. She sews traditional dresses and bulk orders for temple flags. She initially worked in a tailor’s shop, but over time she started taking orders herself to earn more.
Later, Chandrakalaben joined a self-help group under the guidance of a local non-profit Prayas. Working with Milaap, they helped her grow her business. Now, she earns Rs. 15,000 (about S$300) each month – five times the meager income she earned earlier! She saves every rupee for her children’s education.
Coming from a poor family, Chandrakalaben, like other girls in her community, was not allowed to finish school. She knew her girls would suffer the same fate, so she worked very hard to have a say in their education. “My four daughters were so little. I would sew clothes and simultaneously take care of them; it was extremely difficult. But it was for them and their future that I started working,” she explains.
When it was time to send the girls to school, even her husband joined those who said, “There is no need to educate a girl.” But Chandrakalaben stood her ground, “Just because they are girls doesn’t mean they are any less.” After years of striving so hard, it brings her joy to see all her children going to school.
Find out how you can help rural mothers guarantee an education for their kids on the next page.
As mothers, we know that providing our children the best education involves sacrifices, and the delicate balance of income, savings, and expenses. Like Chandrakalaben, thousands of rural mothers are striving to ensure there’s always enough to pay for their children’s school.
This March, Milaap and theAsianparent is making a difference in the lives of mothers like Chandrakalaben. We are helping rural mothers in India to grow as entrepreneurs, support their children – and you can help too!
Here’s all you need to do: