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Breaking patterns

Amandeep works as a nurse and supports her family. Coming from a community that does not allow women to leave their homes, Amandeep’s will power helped her break the patterns of the patriarchal society. She now has plenty of opportunities opening up for a bright future.

To Be or Not to Be

Amandeep and her family live in Faridkot, a town on the western fringes of Punjab. Less than a decade ago, young women from the region were discouraged from education, let alone pursuing a career of their dreams. Today, due to various interventions by World Vision India, many of the young women living here are now taking hold of their lives and their future.

Amandeep’s sisters, Gurpreet is in the 11th standard and Charanjeet is completing her Bachelors of Education course to become a teacher. Amandeep completed her Multi-Purpose Health Worker (MPHW) training and is now working as a nurse in an orthopedic clinic in the town.

“I never worked as hard as I did during my two years of training. Some nights I barely slept for 3-4 hours, between studying for my exams and my duty roster. But in the end, it was all worth it. Now I may even get a chance to work abroad,” says Amandeep.

All she needs to do now is clear the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. A big influence that enabled Amandeep to excel is her family -- in particular, her parents. Because the society they live in is strongly patriarchal and women, until very recently, were confined to their homes and barely ventured out of their villages.

Sukhjeet, Amandeep's mother says, “When I was young, the girls from the community were never allowed to leave. Partly because it wasn't considered safe but more so because it was frowned upon by our elders and their conservative values. We had to stay at home and help with household chores. This was why I never had an education”.

Punjab, Amandeep’s father also didn't have an education. But that is also why he ensures all his children are educated. “I never went to school because I didn't see the point in going. My brothers went, and today they all hold government postings in the district. I realised my mistake too late and will do anything for my children to complete their education”, says Punjab.

As the new generation struggles to find their feet in the face of financial limitations, they are not ready to give up. They believe opportunities will come, and the important thing is that the doors are no longer shut. That gives them hope to persevere.

“None of this would have been possible without World Vision India. Apart from my course fees, they also raised awareness on gender and equality, which helped to change the views of the community to become more open-minded. We can now face life with dignity and confidence”, says Amandeep.

World Vision India has helped 75 other young women, like Amandeep, from this community to receive training as nurses, of which 48 have graduated and secured employment in various health institutions around the country. The remaining 27 are currently completing their course at the institute.

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