Who is Kirti?
This is a story of odds against odds. This is a story of opportunities and hope, of houses of courage that survived the storm and those which came crumbling down. This is a story of rebuilding those houses, sturdier than before. This is the story of Kirti Sharma.
When one travels about 75kms away from Guna district of Madhya Pradesh, one reaches Aranya village of Chachaura block. If you traverse deeper into the village, you would find a humble, neat and clean hut, with a residing family of four; Kirti, her husband and a son and a daughter. Kirti has studied till 12th standard. Despite being educated, Kirti belongs to a poor household and with both adults being irregularly employed; there isn’t a continuous inflow of money.
Considering two children who need to be provided with a better chance to rewrite their narrative, Kirti works as an ASHA worker and since ten years has been earning a meagre monthly wage of Rs2000-3000, an amount insufficient to suffice a family of four.
A STORY IN WAIT OF A RETELLING
If one is to exemplify destitution, Kirti’s story unfortunately, comes up as a prime example. Kirti since her marriage has faced many hardships. Driven to the extent of contemplating suicide due to paucity of financial resources and the ineptness of providing for their family, Kirti understand what despair and distraught mean, better than anyone.
When coordinator of Soochnaprneur program met Kirti for the first time, the circumstances were so depraved that she couldn’t even afford her children’s education. That is when we introduced her to the Soochnapreneur initiative. Kirti found resonance in the role and also a hopeful possibility to improve her and her family’s condition. And without further hesitation, Kirti inaugurated her new role as a Soochnapreneur on the 26th of June, 2018. Not only was she, one of the first female soochnapreneurs from her area, but by sheer hard work and perseverance, she established the first Soochna Seva Kendra in Binaganj, in Chachaura district. Her initiative enabled her to connect to around 1000 individuals via the information proliferation application called MeraApp and was able to inform over 770 villagers about the various government schemes available to them.
A NEW IDENTITY
Kirti, now with a new compensation of around ten thousand rupees per month, was able to also provide a better education and lifestyle to her children. This new role not only reinvigorated her with hope and positivity but one could see her children beaming with joy on the occasion of being able to regularly go to school now.
Kirti now is able to take care of her family proudly and proactively and in her own words, “is enjoying this task so much that even if she leaves her engagement with ASHA, she wouldn’t feel any regret whatsoever.”
A DIGITAL SAVIOUR AND A WARRIOR
Kirti has unknowingly, also contributed significantly to the digital empowerment movement. Seeing her own success and enhanced proficiency, she has inspired many other villagers – including the member of the gram panchayat – to also adopt and learn how to become digitally informed. Now even if a panchayat member has some digital requirement, they go to Kirti for solutions. They not only trust her and her abilities to solve their digital queries, but also have faith in her Soochna Seva Kendra and Kirti ensure that no information seeker, returns empty handed or unsatisfied.
Kirti who began her community role almost ten years ago, today is a successful soochnaprenuer and an exemplary member of the program. Her story has found a much larger audience, spilling outside the lines of her small village.
A STORY OF VALOUR IS BEING RETOLD
This was the story of Kirti – woman who transitioned from despair to discovery and became an inspiration to many. Like her, now many women are carrying the baton of being soochnapreneurs.