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Vahida Is Rejoiced To Stand On Her Own Feet

Vahida was an infant when polio affected both her legs, thus changing her life.

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Vahida Sheikh hails from Ramrechi, a tiny village in a remote part of Gujarat. “The girls in my village get married at an early age and are not encouraged to study. I am the first girl in my village to secure a job and move to a city,” says Vahida proudly.

Vahida was an infant when polio affected both her legs, thus changing her life. Her journey has not been easy, but instead of succumbing to her situation, Vahida drew strength from it. Her father is a truck driver and her mother a housewife.She has  two siblings, Vahida’s parents have never been to a school and are humble people who want great things for all their children. Vahida’s parents realised that educating their daughter was the only way to secure her future. “My disability would create doubts in my head, but my family believed in me.” Vahida explained as her family helped her complete her graduation despite their socio-economic status.

Vahida is currently employed with Reliance Trends, Rajkot as a sales executive. She gave her first salary to her father. She earns about Rupees ten thousand per month after incentives. “Vahida is a very positive and hardworking girl. There is nothing she can’t do at the store, from billing to handling displays, Vahida knows it all. I never had to instruct her to do a job and when given a task she would complete it sincerely. She has never let her physical disabilities come in the way of her work.” shares Manoj Massan, Store Manager, Reliance Trends, Rajkot.

Vahida was looking to enhance her employability skills after her graduation and it was during this time that she came to know about the ‘Skills to Succeed’ program at Yuva junction, Talala, run by our partner Aga Khan Rural Support Program (India). She joined the program and took up retail as her subject. “I realised that taking up retail and computers would help me get a job easily.” says Vahida. “The skills they taught us at the center has helped me at my workplace especially the English lessons. I find it easier to interact with customers and also handle the day to day activities in retail.” shares Vahida.

Soon after completing the program, she was placed with D’mart at Ahmedabad as a customer support executive. Her initial days at work were a bit of a struggle, but she was confident enough that she could do anything the management asked her to.

Vahida is an inspiration. She has proven that with a positive attitude and personal support one can achieve wonders in life. “When I go back to my village, people come to visit me. Little girls in my village look up to me and I am happy that I can inspire them to dream big,” says Vahida with ardour. She is grateful to the Skills to Succeed program for helping her realize her true potential and building her confidence to face life’s challenges. Her dream is to become a manager of a retail store some day.

Its stories like this that help us realize our vision of enabling individuals to build self-learning pathways in order to make meaning of their lives.

Vahida Sheikh

Alumni, currently employed with Reliance Trends, Rajkot.

“My father says that I have made him proud like a son!”