Meenakshi Learns To Believe In Her Dreams
“As girls, we were taught to come back home before dark and this worried me when I had to stay late at work. But today I am not scared,”
Meenakshi Rani is a resolute 21-year-old from Delhi. She negotiated with her parents to build a career and life for herself amidst archaic practices and traditions that bind women.
Meenakshi joined the Computer Operator & Programming Assistant (COPA) at the ITI for Women, Vivek Vihar, to acquire a certificate to secure her future. She was part of the MyQuest program supported by UNDP India. Meenakshi comes from a lower middle-class family in Delhi. Her father passed away early, leaving the responsibility of the family with the mother. Her mother runs a small provisions store and sews to support the family of three. Meenakshi said that she was indifferent to building a career and job before the Quest classes. These classes helped her understand the importance of working and how you can negotiate with your parents to create a life that you want. “Quest classes were different from the subjects we were learning at the ITI, it covered interesting aspects like soft skills, interview skills, and etiquette at work,” she says. She believes that the classes also taught her to think for herself and instilled in her the courage and confidence to create a life she wanted.
“The women in our family are married before 20 years and I thought that if this was my life then there is no point in dreaming of different things,” says Meenakshi. Quest introduced her to a whole new world and taught her to create a career and also to negotiate with parents. ”Initially, my mother wasn't convinced about the idea of women working, but with time I was able to make her understand that I wanted to work and be independent,” explains Meenakshi. She said that after she joined work, the concept of marriage slowly disappeared from her household.
Meenakshi is currently working as an assistant executive at iEnergizer, Delhi and earns about INR 13,500 per month plus incentives. “The first few months were tough, there were days when I wanted to quit, but I did not give up. Today I am one of the top performers in my company and am in line for the next promotion” says a jubilant Meenakshi. Her initial days at work were filled with fear and caution. “As girls, we were taught to come back home before dark and this worried me when I had to stay late at work. But today I am not scared, I am confident and I stand up for myself in life and at work. This happened to me because of Quest classes.”
Meenakshi is currently pursuing her Masters in English through a distance education program and wants to become a Team Leader at her current workplace. "I want to learn and earn better. I chose my first job for the experience but I want to make good decisions about my career in the future.” She is grateful for the employability skills classes that helped her realize her true potential and gave her the courage to pursue her dreams in spite of everyday obstacles.
Meenakshi RaniAlumni, Vivek Vihar ITI for women
”I want to learn and earn better. I chose my first job for the experience but I want to make good decisions about my career in the future.”