Empowering Children Since the Age of Ten, Here’s Divya Priyadarshni’s Inspiring Story
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” This quote best defines Divya Priyadarshni’s journey, a 24-year-old social worker from Patna, Bihar who has dedicated her skills for the upliftment of society since the age of ten! Her story proves that little things done with the utmost sincerity and the will to make a difference can go a long way in bringing about change.
Since her childhood, Divya has been creatively utilizing her skills to give back to society, empowering hundreds of lives all along. “One thing I’ve always loved is helping others, so I started developing my skills based on my interests,” said Divya in an interview with Giving for Good Foundation. When she was in the fifth grade, Divya started tutoring the children who live on streets, free of cost. “My story began when I realized that there is a society that needs us. So, for three years I provided free education to young kids of beggars,” shared Divya.
Divya has been a fighter her whole life. She started to support her family from a young age by offering tuitions. She made her struggles her inspiration and kept going. “I always see my struggles as my inspiration as they never let me forget my origin and where I started,” said Divya. She fondly remembers the time she was selected as a Gandhi Fellow (a fellowship program empowering the youth of India to develop skills while giving back to society) in 2019, the turning point of her life as she calls it. “The best thing which ever happened to me is that I got selected as a Gandhi fellow where I got the chance to live the life of my dreams. I met all the challenges in the field while implementing my project with great zeal. I lead six projects during my fellowship journey which had a positive impact on more than 3000 students,” said Divya.
“Few milestones during my project implementation were the establishment of an entrepreneurial cell where students got the opportunity to work on life skills. A few projects under the cell were Story Box, Nanhe Patrakar, Hunger Challenge, Food Club and English literacy where students were engaged as per their interest. I lived with the people in the community to understand their day-to-day challenges and started a campaign on menstrual hygiene where I involved 100 women from the village,” said Divya. Later, the Gandhi fellowship Alumni team featured Divya’s success story on their website.
Divya was living her dream life, working with absolute determination and contentment — her heart and mind were at the same place and hence the milestones she achieved during her fellowship weren't surprising at all. On Divya's long list of inspiring deeds, Spot On is one of the shining examples of her contributions to society. Along with Ankit Pandey and Abhay Kumar Ojha, Divya has been working on this initiative that aims to tackle period poverty in the tribal areas of Rajasthan. According to Days for Girls, globally more than 500 million menstruators experience period poverty. Period poverty refers to a lack of access to basic menstrual products, hygiene standards, and education. Through this project, Divya and team are addressing the three most important issues concerning period poverty: materials, facilities, and awareness. For their dedicated efforts, they have received an award at the Festival for Change contest in the category of Promoting Economic Pluralism.
Currently, Divya is working as a Program Manager at Avanti Fellows. “Proving education has been my forte, so I started my journey at Avanti Fellows by educating 9th standard students belonging to the Government schools of Sonipat, Haryana. Now, I work with the economically weaker students of Delhi and bring to them NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test) preparation and coaching free of cost,” explains Divya.
Divya, who seeks inspiration from her struggles, conveys to the youth to take pride in failures, “Never let your failures demotivate you, wear them as medals. There will be times when you want to quit, but always remember that one day you will be proud of yourself. All you need is to keep going and always try to keep improving from the older version of yourself.” She transformed her struggles into inspiration; undoubtedly an applaudable mindset. Giving for Good Foundation looks up to inspiring individuals like Divya who take pride in giving back to society, live by their values and empower others to do the same.
Exclusively written for Giving for Good Foundation by Puja Das