Digital literacy for Indian women

How E-Sakshar Unlocked Career Opportunities for Meenakshi!

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“In life, I’d never gotten the chance to have the education I wanted – I started working in college to support my family. As time passed, people said, ‘You’re getting too old for marriage.’ But I wanted to help Baba give my siblings the life I couldn’t have. So, only after working for a decade as a data entry operator, I decided to get married at 28.

After marriage, although I continued working for 2 more years, I struggled to juggle work with family. So, I quit my job and became a homemaker. But I was happy– especially when my son was born, and I didn’t have to miss out on his childhood! My husband would often say, ‘You should get back to work.’ A part of me did miss it, but I did not dwell on it until COVID hit.

My husband lost his job, and was out of work for 6 months. Those were the toughest days of our life. Living in a joint family, we had support and never slept on an empty stomach. But we were struggling, and we hated being dependent. And we had a son to look after. It would break my heart to see my husband’s sullen face after every failed interview; I felt helpless! I’d think, ‘What can I do?’ Even when I worked before, all I’d done was fill in the data provided to me. I’d never learnt anything advanced.

So, one day, while coming home from the market, when I came across an ad for a catering course, I went home and talked to my husband who said, ‘You should do it!’ Although money was tight, this was an investment towards our future. The very next day, I enrolled myself in a catering course and along with it, I got a complimentary computer course – E-sakshar. I couldn’t believe my luck! I’d always wanted to learn computers, and now that I had the chance, I wasn’t going to miss it.

It was a month-long course where I learnt the basics from making online payments to even starting a YouTube channel. I loved every bit of it! The day I made my first online payment, I felt so proud – like I had grown two inches taller! To someone else, it might not mean much, but it felt like an achievement to me. With this newfound confidence, I began applying for jobs, and soon, I got hired as an administrator.

Although I was nervous about returning to work, my husband eased my fear by saying, ‘Trust yourself – I do!’ And when I started working this time, I was a different person than when I was at 18. I was confident, with a thirst to prove myself. So along with all my other duties, I focused on learning and growing. Within a year, I got promoted to an account assistant. That day, I took my family out for dinner. I celebrated my first-ever success with the people I loved the most!

It’s been a year since, and now I’m aiming toward becoming an account manager, even though it seems very far off. But look how far I’ve already come! From being a homemaker 2 years ago to a working woman today… I like my odds!”

Exclusively written for Giving for Good Foundation by Humans of Bombay.

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