Sukarya – NGO

Shaista: From Shy Girl to Empowered Leader

In the heart of a Delhi slum, Shaista’s story unfolds—a tale of transformation and hope that challenges the confines of conservative upbringing and shines a beacon on the path to gender equality. At 19, Shaista’s life took a dramatic turn from being a shy girl, confined within the walls of tradition, to becoming a community leader, affectionately known by many as “period wali didi.”

Growing up in a family where venturing outside was rarely an option for girls, Shaista’s world was limited. The Sukarya Gender Equality Program became her gateway to a new beginning. Initial resistance from her family was a hurdle, but the Sukarya team’s persistence paid off, leading to a pivotal change in her parents’ perspective.

The program’s training sessions were the kindling that ignited Shaista’s confidence and passion for advocacy. She embraced the cause of gender equality and menstrual hygiene, becoming a beacon of change. Her voice, once subdued, now echoed through the community, inspiring and empowering other girls like her.

Recognizing her potential, Sukarya nurtured Shaista’s leadership skills, appointing her as the Lead Girl of her batch. This wasn’t just a title; it was a responsibility that saw her educating her peers on gender issues, rights, and societal concerns, effectively becoming an agent of change within her community.

Shaista’s impact was felt even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community leader, she was at the forefront, improving hygiene practices and spreading awareness about menstrual health, proving that real heroes don’t always wear capes.

Despite financial constraints that halted her formal education after completing Grade XII, the journey Shaista embarked on with Sukarya’s Gender Equality Program has been nothing short of remarkable. She emerged as an advocate for gender equality, a symbol of hope and resilience. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of education and empowerment.

Shaista’s journey is a beacon of inspiration for many girls living under the shadow of patriarchy. It showcases the profound impact that awareness, education, and empowerment can have on an individual and their community. Through her actions, Shaista has not only changed her destiny but has also paved the way for others to follow. Her story underscores the essential truth that with the right support and opportunities, every girl has the potential to become a leader and advocate for change.