Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 11, 2018-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Meet the Pune girl behind state’s 1% employment reservation for orphans

Now, she has been selected as brand ambassador for development of rural areas for social activities by the national social service (NSS) agency, a government-sponsored public service programme under the department of youth affairs and sports of the government of India.

pune Updated: Feb 21, 2018 08:19 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,orphan,amruta karvande
Amruta Karvande (second from right) relies on her friends for support for her mission to change how orphans are treated in society. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Twenty-three-year old Amruta Karvande is getting used to the spotlight. She did not expect it, nor does she reach for it, instead her service and dedication to the cause of orphans in Maharashtra keeps her centre stage.

Now, she has been selected as brand ambassador for development of rural areas for social activities by the national social service (NSS) agency, a government-sponsored public service programme under the department of youth affairs and sports of the government of India.

Amruta is an orphan. She grew up at an orphanage in Goa and then pursued her studies in Maharashtra. She fell short of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam open category by a few marks and could not fill in necessary details on the form related to her family and ancestry. Rather than turn away defeated, Amruta met with chief minister Devendra Fadanvis and explained the problem she faced as an orphan.

As a result of that meeting, the Maharashtra government reserved one per cent of employment at the state level for orphans. It was a historic move and Amruta is well aware of her impact.

“This is the first step and there is still more to do. According to surveys conducted by NGOs, there are one lakh orphans like me who suffer to even get good education,” Amruta says, adding, “Right now, I have a lot of work pending. There is a country to change and I still have to convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this change.”

When she turned 18, Amruta refused a marriage proposed by the orphanage she grew up in. “I am still not independent, but at least I have my own identity. If I had married any person I would still be an orphan living a life as a dependent. Now I feel I am on my way to creating my own identity and security,” said Amruta.

While busy studying for the MPSC exams, which she will now reappear for, she is also drafting a proposal to eliminate the concept of “orphans in society”. “I want to represent them and make them part of the society,” she says.

Amruta is now much sought-after on the speaker circuit. From Goa to Pune and at places like Daund, Nashik and Nigdi, she has already inspired NGOs with her story.

Her dream job is to crack the MPSC, become an officer and work in rural areas bringing about change. ”My childhood was rough and insecure. I had no sense of belonging. If I do marry, it will be to a man who accepts me as I am and into a family who long for a daughter,” she says.

Helping her in her crusade are several close friends that are more like family. Sachin Talkokuwar, Kamal Narayan, who also tutors her, Pravin Bhange, Rahul Kamble, Pooja Narwane and Swati Padole all work together with her. “She is defiant, confident, smart, sharp always positive, stubborn and very persuasive,” chorus the friends.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 23:26 IST