Rakhi’s Story: Dedicated to Her Students’ Dreams


Rakhi is a teacher in Pratham’s Second Chance program at a center in Mumbai. She spends her days helping female dropouts ages 14-35 prepare for their secondary school exams. Rakhi sees a lot of girls and women pass through her doors, and their story is often the same: circumstances at home caused them to leave school early.

In India, where education is not considered a priority for women, nearly 80% of girls drop out of school before grade ten. Not having a diploma drastically reduces their chances of self-sufficiency, keeping them in a vicious cycle of poverty and dependence. Rakhi is working to change that.

One of her current students, an 18-year-old named Rukma, was forced to leave school in seventh grade. Rukma is strong-willed and restless; she wants to continue her education and become a nurse one day. The proximity and schedule of Pratham’s learning center has enabled Rukma to catch up in her studies and work around her household duties. With Rakhi’s support, she is now preparing for her exams.

Over 15 months, Rakhi has watched her student grow, gaining independence and confidence. But there is resistance at home. Rukma’s parents do not want their daughter to continue her education. They prefer her at home, cooking, cleaning and assisting in the family’s shoemaking business.

Rukma’s is an all-too-common situation. But working for Pratham has shown Rakhi that anything is possible. She’s not yet sure how to do it, but she is determined to convince Rukma’s parents to let their daughter pursue her nursing career dreams.

A little goes a long way in making an impact on a girl’s life. Learn more about how Pratham educates females and how you can help.

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