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Battery Shop Manager,

Ola Futurefactory


“I was the first girl from my village to go to college. Most girls there, including many of my friends, were married off by fifteen. I was the odd one out. Instead of planning my marriage, my Amma and Appa encouraged me to study hard and make it big. I too dreamt of the same.

But the people in our village didn’t understand us. I remember the look of distaste and judgement in their eyes when I moved to the city for my post-graduation degree. I remember the villagers telling my parents,

"‘What you all are doing is wrong. This isn't our culture.’"

Through it all, my parents became my rock. They gave me the courage to make a home for myself in a new city, the courage to stand my ground, and later, even the courage to take the biggest step of my life—going to Germany for my second post-graduate degree, and that too after marriage. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I had my husband’s unwavering support. In fact, he was the one who pushed me to take the plunge. I sold my wedding jewellery to afford the course and flight tickets only to realise that the money wouldn’t even last me a month! I had to take up part-time work, and started spending my days juggling work and studies. Each day was more exhausting than the last, but also more rewarding.

The 4 years that I spent in Germany changed my outlook towards life, and more importantly, towards myself. And so, when my husband got COVID, I didn't think twice about returning to India—it was the right thing to do.

Just as we were settling in together again, our marriage was up for another round of long distance. This time around we weren't perturbed. We had braved much worse, and I had landed the job I had been very keen on—as an Assistant Manager at Ola’s Futurefactory.

"Today, it’s been 10 years since the day I left my village. Looking back, I am proud of the decisions I made."

Now whenever I visit my village, I see as many young girls in uniforms as boys, and the girls talking about careers and their dreams, instead of marriage. I hear one girl has even moved to London!

Seeing this change over the years, which was somewhere spurned by my own journey, overwhelms me. It makes me think that it’s all been worth it—the late nights, the early mornings, the long distance, and all the hustle. Not because I was the first girl in my village who went to college. But because I am no longer the only one.”

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