We have all these many heart-wrenching images on social media and newspapers. They do make many of us want to do something for society, many contribute some monetary value towards the Non-Government Organisation.
Sudha Varghese was just one of us who saw a picture of a ramshackle hut of Bihar India, in a magazine.
Sudha had a prosperous family in Kerala and she had a quality life and education in Kerala.
This image of a ramshackle troubled her for many days to do something to contribute to society on the ground.
Sudha quotes “I decided all my efforts, all my resources, all my time, all my love, whatever I have, all that will go for the poor and needy people.”
Her family opposed the philanthropic vision which made her disappointed.
She decided to go solo with her plan to contribute to the welfare of the poor and untouched part of society.
Sudha had no idea how and where to start. She took the religious path and became a Catholic Nun to start her charity work.
A few years later her turmoil of not doing enough for society was troubling her.
The image of a ramshackle hut was her yet to conquer the goal.
With this experience of doing charitable work, she decided to go to the Musahar Village, Bihar.
She believed that living in the community of Musahar would help her bring the change of development and education within the community.
Musahar village wasn’t an easy community for adaptation. Musahar means ‘rat eaters’.
They were known as untouchable. They weren’t allowed to own land and could never ask for more money for the hard labour. Most of them never went to school so they had no idea how to use democracy.
In a way, they were the trapped community in free India with no hope for progress and education.
Sudha found it difficult to relate to men, so she focused on women and girls.
She believed the progress of women and girls would bring out a positive impact on their deprived community.
Musahar women were not allowed to lift their faces. They would gaze down on the ground whenever they were out of their house.
Educating these women would not be easy as they were brought up with the mindset of discrimination and poor self-image. They were repeatedly filled with the words that they were unworthy and ineffective.
Sudha began her tough work by toughening their self-image and filling their mind with constructive self-talk.
She began with a school named ‘ Prerna’ ( which meant inspiration). With limited resources with her, she began teaching reading, writing, math, history and science.
Gradually she added karate, yoga, drawing, painting and singing.
Some of her girls even competed in a championship in Japan.
Her vision became a reality when the community started to adapt to education and showed signs of development and progress.
5000 girls have graduated from her program who are ready to pursue their dreams, for the first time they have a dream.
Musahar girls are now pursuing their dreams to become doctors, engineers, lawyers and some want to become like Sudha.
Sudha Varghese has successfully achieved her vision to bring a change and make the lives of these untouched parts of society a better place to live.
Today Musahar has hope for future generations to live a better life.
Sudha also runs a Nari Gunjan’( women’s voice) which provides education, literacy, vocational training, healthcare, and life skills for these women and girls in Bihar.
Sudha believes there is just the beginning and there is much work to do for this community to achieve an equal status in society.
On a lighter note, Sudha is happy today journalists won’t cover the image of a ramshackle hut but they would put a proud picture of skilled and educated women and girls of Musahar.
Sudha achieved her philanthropic vision with effort and devotion to her belief.
She believed in herself that with her efforts change is possible and she proved it.
Sudha’s vision provided an opportunity for the Musahar women and girls to redefine their dignity on this earth.
Skillz4life applauds her irreplaceable contribution towards the unprivileged part of society.
Sudha Varghese is a true inspiration, society needs today.
If you have a vision like Sudha Varghese, but you lack leadership skills then we are here to help you to redefine your possibilities.
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