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The Community Rupi Dreams Of

22-year-old Rupi Kisku ardently believes in the power of education. She wishes to become a teacher with a dream to impact the lives of young girls in her community. What led her to this dream?

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Rupi Kisku, a resident of a small village in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand, believes that education is the strongest tool for social change.

“Education helps to build knowledge and various skills that can promote new thoughts and attitudes among young people.”

Rupi was a girl champion in the Anandshala programme from 2018 to 2021. She was actively involved in youth club activities at the time. She spearheaded numerous initiatives, including community awareness campaigns on child marriage and education, self-employment trainings in rakhi and diya making, etc.

“Youth club gave me opportunities to participate in different activities, interact with peers to address various social issues, and form relationships with community members. This encouraged me to come out of the shell that was built around me.”

Rupi shares that she developed her interest for teaching when she was volunteering for ‘Ghar Ghar Pathshala’, an initiative by Quest Alliance. During the lockdown, Rupi set up community groups where at least one smartphone was accessible for all. Through this, she helped many young children access online content shared by headmasters on WhatsApp groups. She also took maths and hindi classes.

 

Rupi migrated to Tamil Nadu for better job opportunities and started working in the stock management for a private clothing warehouse. Although she was happy to become financially independent, her long-lost dream of becoming a teacher and doing something for her community brought her back to Jharkhand.

Post her return, Rupi enrolled herself for a Master's degree in history and joined a program named Tejaswini, running across the state supported by the government of Jharkhand. The project aims to promote socio-economic empowerment of teenage girls and young women. 

Today, Rupi teaches life skills, basics of academic subjects and raises awareness on sexual and reproductive health rights for girls who’ve dropped out of school in 5 villages of Madhupur block through Tejaswini. 

Most of the young girls from her village are forced to drop out from schools and either forced into early marriage or do household work. They are unaware of their rights and often do not speak up for things happening against their will.

Rupi confides that it were the interactions she had in the Anandshala program that helped her build confidence. Being a shy person, she couldn’t communicate very well initially. However, her youth club sessions helped her gain confidence in putting forward her ideas and thoughts openly.  Focused sessions of non-verbal communication on gestures and body language proved beneficial for Rupi, especially in Tamil Nadu where language was a barrier. These skills still help her today as she engages with her community.

“I use the same techniques to interact with my students. We discuss social issues like child marriage, early pregnancy, the importance of education. I try to understand what they are going through and encourage them to follow their dreams.”

Rupi realised her true potential through the youth club sessions of Anandshala. She added that she was fortunate enough to come across the Anandshala program and wants the same opportunities for her students.

Rupi dreams to help young adolescents to build a vision for themselves so that they can shape their future. We are grateful to the thousands of girls like her who inspire us constantly through their dreams for a better future.

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Our Anandshala program in Bihar and Jharkhand aims to promote an ecosystem of joyful and social-emotional learning in the public education system, promoting 21st-century skills among learners. The program focuses on school and community-based approaches.

You can read more about the program here: https://www.questalliance.net/program/anandshala

 

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Rupi Kisku

Girl Champion, Anandshala (2018-2021)

“Education helps to build knowledge and various skills that can promote new thoughts and attitudes among young people.”