STRONG, FREE & EDUCATED GIRLS
“When I moved to Delhi as a young university teacher and saw the cosmopolitan practices, I realized that the environment for Rajasthan’s girl children could be improved through education. My volunteerism ran parallel to my teaching career for three decades. It became a full-time passion when I retired from the University of Delhi in 2016.”
Malarshi Lal is one such unsung hero, who has dedicated several years of her successful and inspiring life story to contribute to society. A Professor in the English Department (retd), University of Delhi, she has authored and edited fifteen books. Her specialization is in literature, women and gender studies. During her tenure as the Director of the Women’s Studies and Development Centre, University of Delhi, several national and international projects on women’s empowerment were carried out with support from the Govt of India and the UNIFEM. She has been a Senior Consultant to the Ministry of Culture, and a member of international book award juries including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, London.
“The impetus for my volunteer activities in Rajasthan comes from the desire to give back some social benefits to the environment in which I grew up in Jaipur. I saw or heard of child marriages at Akha Teej, dowry demands, domestic violence, Sati, nata, and other oppressive occurrences” she says. Being a gender specialist and a feminist scholar for four decades, she then joined the Guild Of Service, an NGO in ECOSOC status with the UN. She had a vision of setting up a school in a slum area in Jaipur.
With the help of colleagues, she initiated the launch of the Sannidhi Primary school at Bansipuri, Jagatpura. Children are provided with books and stationery, school uniforms along with shoes and caps.
A nutritious glass of milk and a meal is given daily. The parents of these children are typically rag pickers, construction laborers, and casual domestic workers. It really is commendable that at the age of 71, she is so driven to make a change and impact these children in such a touching manner. Her passion is heart-warming and inspires each of us to contribute to our environment in our own little ways.
Authored by Aditya Anand