Sumitra Kawediya

Dreaming Big With Her Eyes Open

Sumitra pursued her dreams through her students' eyes not only by educating them but by also encouraging them to pursue their own dreams.

On 25th of June, Sumitra Kawediya received ‘Swamsiddh Award’ from head of the Women’s Wing of Sadri Mahila Mandal, Pune. It was a great moment not only for her but also her entire family.

As a child, she had always excelled in her studies. She stood first in class. She also represented her school in various sports events. Sadri was a remote village in Rajasthan. She couldn't pursue her dream of becoming a doctor after her father's demise. She also worked to continue her further studies but was married off at a young age of 17. This 9th pass girl shifted from the small village in Sadri to the city of Pune. Her dream of becoming a doctor couldn’t be fulfilled, but she did marry a doctor whose profession was a service towards mankind. He got full support from his wife as she managed their household with the little money she received from her husband. She never complained and saw to it that her three children were brought up well. Her husband was engaged setting up his clinic and being a member of an organization that served the tribal living in the jungle, he had to travel a lot. Sumitra supported her husband in every way possible, taking care of the household, her in-laws, and her children. Time flew and her children were well-educated and settled in life.

Once during a visit to her home town, she came across the tribal living in the jungles of Rajasthan. Looking at their plight, she thought that she needed to do something for their well-being. These children had no clothes to wear and the one school in a hamlet did not cater to anyone. She discussed this with her husband and his experience of working with the tribals in Maharashtra helped him to set up a team. The team was ready but the parents denied. She took it on her, to make the villagers aware about the importance of education. She visited the village almost every day and was able to convince a few parents. Around nine children were given admission to the local school in the year 2005.

She started to live her dream through the eyes of these children. Children who wanted to study but couldn’t due to lack of funds. The entire expense of educating the children was taken up by her family and after working hard for 10 years, the first batch cleared their 10th STD. The humble beginning of 2005 with nine children now has around 70 children and with God’s grace, they started two schools. Today these hamlets have an identity of their own and the children’s dream of taking up jobs in a government office. Appreciating her efforts, the women’s wing of the village felicitated my mother, Mrs. Sumitra Ramesh Kawediya. The women who not only changed our lives by being a constant support but also made an impact on the lives of villagers and helped them to dream big.

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