Fossil Foundation celebrates young people who are charting their own course to a brighter future. Audacious Under 24 takes you into their world—in their words.
Meet Suhani*. She’s a 13-year-old student from Jalore, Rajasthan and a student of Educate Girls.
Before joining this program, Suhani didn’t dream of much success beyond school. However, as she began learning and becoming more curious, she realized her education was a gateway for a larger life. The program has taught her powerful life skills like grit and leadership while inspiring her personal transformation and growth.
Hear from Suhani in her own words:
What was your day-to-day life like prior to knowing anything about Educate Girls?
When I was initially enrolled in school, I wasn’t doing as well with my studies. I didn’t enjoy school. Since my parents are uneducated themselves, they had no problem with me dropping out of school. After leaving school, I was confined to cooking, cleaning, fetching water, taking care of the cattle and watching over my younger siblings at home.
What did success mean to you then?
Like every girl in the village is told from a young age, I too had the same idea of what my life should be–I had to be a good wife and mother, handling chores and being able to keep everyone at my marital home happy. I thought being a good cook was admirable for girls.
What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned since you were brought back to school?
Girls can achieve so much if given a chance. They need not be confined to home. Manju didi tells us about all the successful girls and women who are making India proud in the sphere of sports, medicine, corporate, science and technology and even about women who have been to the moon!
What is your greatest ambition, looking into the future? What would you like to be able to accomplish?
My family has never traveled outside of the village where we live. Once I start earning, I want to take my family to see the Taj Mahal because I read in my textbook that it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I also dream of traveling in an airplane.
What are you proud of overcoming through the program (both in your life situation and within yourself)?
I was very shy before. Now I have many friends at school, my parents ask me things and trust my opinion. I am more confident today.
Do you think you have the power to chart your own path now?
Yes, now I can try to achieve new things. I am now aware about my rights. I also know that being a girl is not a limitation.
“I am now aware about my rights. I also know that being a girl is not a limitation.”Suhani
*name changed to protect identity of minor