Tribal girl turns role model
THERE WAS a shy tribal girl, who could not even pronounce her name properly, fared badly at studies and cleared high school in three attempts. But all that was in the past. Today, she has become a source of inspiration for people in Bhagawa village of Dhar district, situated some 170 km from here.india Updated: Jan 21, 2007 02:58 IST
THERE WAS a shy tribal girl, who could not even pronounce her name properly, fared badly at studies and cleared high school in three attempts. But all that was in the past. Today, she has become a source of inspiration for people in Bhagawa village of Dhar district, situated some 170 km from here.
Meet Antari Baghel who has become a role model for many in her village. Every time she failed, something went on in her mind. She wanted to know what she lacked and why she failed.
This thought process was unusual, as she had no role models around nor any motivating television shows that could generate the urge to identify one’s weaknesses and overcome them. Her village had no power, nor did its people know how to use a telephone till recently.
When she failed for the third time, her father sent her to Barli Institute for Development of Rural Women, Indore, for community volunteer training programme in 1998. “And I got all the answers here,” says 26-year-old Antari, now a postgraduate in Hindi literature and a teacher in Dhahi village.
As she learned sewing and embroidery, she was encouraged to teach her batch mates at Barli Institute. This boosted her confidence and helped her overcome hesitation to ask questions and seek replies.
Brimming with confidence, Antari went back to her village, bought a sewing machine on loan and started a tailoring shop. After six months, she applied for class X examination and cleared it with good marks. She has not looked back since. “I wanted to be self-reliant and make my parents proud. And I think I have done that,” says Antari, second among three children.
She is now pursuing B Ed course from Sanskar College, Bhopal. Says her Barli Institute teacher Dhedi Baghder, “I can not believe she is the same Antari. She would hide behind her friends whenever we called her. I am surprised at her level of confidence. She sure is a guiding light for others.”
Amidst MP’s record of 5 lakh female foeticides a year and sex ratio of 927 females per 1,000 males, Antari’s story will inspire many more.