The death of one of our most promising teens by the name Gudiya continues to highlight how far along we have come as an organization yet how far off we stand, in terms of fighting poverty, and lack of awareness in India’s marginalized communities.
Born and raised in a family of three Gudiya lived in one of the most disadvantaged corners in Agra. However, coming from such a community did not deter her resolve. Amid challenges, Gudiya aspired to save her mother from the slums and the meagre wages she had to earn as a housemaid, to provide for her. Hence education became her new ticket and the dream which would get her out from the nightmare she lived in.
Gudiya’s father had run away when she was 12 and figuring he was also trying to search for green pastures, Gudiya knew all too well it would take more than her need for a father, to convince him to return.
Nevertheless, the pursuit of education, especially for a girl, coming from a poverty-stricken background, also proved to be a difficult journey.
Sooner, she would be confronted with the cultural stereotypes and social taboos she had grown accustomed to including, girls had no right to education, girls could not access equal health or growth opportunities as compared to boys, and the early marriage which fortunately Gudiya had escaped.
One day as the team from IDF was mapping through the community, Gudiya’s resolve and passion for education outdid her. Her mother was ready to fulfil her daughter’s dreams and aspirations, and that is when she enrolled Gudiya in the IDF education program
Thirsty for education, Gudiya would put all her efforts and hard work to become the best student in her class. Passing the 10th board exams with a score of 75% would only prove how Gudiya yearned to fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher.
However, fate held other plans in store. At the height of celebrations, Gudiya fell ill. Due to lack of information or awareness, the reason for her illness could not be confirmed, although it was suspected that she suffered from tuberculosis and anaemia.
The lockdown due to Covid-19 rendered her mother immobile, and against all efforts, she could not visit the doctor on time.
Gudiya passed away in the prime of her educational life, leaving behind a younger brother a desolate mother and a runaway father.
To think that if her mother knew what was happening, Gudiya’s could still be alive, tells us more on the urgency and level of seriousness we need to embody when creating awareness around daily issues faced by people in marginalised communities.
Blog Writer:- Lynda Chalkar
A self-proclaimed humorist who gets easily intrigued by creativity, art and nature. I have a passion for social change and I am happiest when writing, communicating and supporting a cause that affects people’s lives positively.