Woman from Vadodara prioritizes funding girls' education over lavish weddings. Here's the story.
"The idea for me was to educate as many girls as I can. In times like these when women worldwide are setting an example of excellence, why should any other girl here be left behind just because of poverty”
"Why is educational donation considered the greatest donation in all religions? If you donate water to someone it will stay up to 5-6hrs, if you donate food to someone, it stays for 2-3 days, if you donate clothes it stays up to 2-3 years, but when you donate for education then you can change the lives of their upcoming seven generations."
The above words reflect the work Nishita Rajput of Gujarat has been doing every day over the last decade. She manages to collect money and funds for the education of girls.
What You Are Is How You Grow:
Nishita hails from Vadodara in Gujarat. After obtaining her degree in Social Work, she pursued a diploma in Labour Studies (Law) from the M.S University of Baroda. Nishita excelled in studies and sports equally. She was in the University Basketball team for three years. Her father, Gulab Rajput is a businessman. Nishita’s upbringing was done in such a way that the child developed a soft corner for the orphans, especially girls. She was quite often taken to the orphanages to meet the children there and sometimes; those children would even visit their house. "And sometimes we would also get the children home. I would share my bedroom with them and they would be treated the way I am treated at home," she said. As she grew up, she realized how education can empower people and make them self-sustained. Especially girls, she thought, should receive education, so that they won’t be vulnerable to the harshness of the outside world. Education, she thought, would make them confident and strong. Ever since then, she, who decided to help poor and underprivileged girls get education, started to collect donations from people to fund their education.
The Work That Never Stopped:
It began in 2011 and ever since then, the father and daughter started collecting funds for the cause. Nishita Rajput started this by collecting money by going from door to door in Vadodara asking people to donate for the cause. They would collect Rs.1,000 cheques from donors and give them away to schools as fees of deserving girls. Though the cause has been successfully growing every year till now, the process slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic. People faced constraints because of which donations dropped to a minimum. Nishita, who has collected close to Rs.69 lakhs in 2019-20 that funded the education of 6,900 girls, could collect only Rs. 53 lakhs in 2020-21 and pay the fees of 5,300 girls. However, Nishita did not compromise here. She knows that her wedding would be a low-profile affair owing to the pandemic. So, she decided to direct the money that would otherwise be spent on big, fat wedding to fund the education of 251 girls and also making a fixed deposit of Rs. 5,000 for 21 girls. Till date, she has funded the education of close to 30,000 girls and has managed to collect donations worth Rs 3.25 crore in the last 10 years. Rajput says, "I do it all on my own as I wish to have transparency in the work that I do. As the word spread, I get donations from US and UK as well. This has made a huge difference to the work I do and I am grateful to everyone supporting it," she says.
Working On Other Causes:
Nishita, who has received Salaam award from Malaika Arora also helps the elderly homeless by sending packed food to them. Alongside, she has employed women to deliver these packed food boxes thereby helping them earn a living.
For all those who want to involve themselves in social work, she said, “People are never going to believe your words at once. Keep doing good work and automatically people will trust you, appreciate your work and will come forward and join you in your cause. As a human being it is our duty to assist others. Human is a man of wisdom. God has given us the life to do many things for ourselves but when you do something for others the happiness shapes bigger.”, she concludes.
Hats off to the young lady who has made it big for herself and also to the lives of numerous girls who became empowered and self-sustained because of her. May she continue to inspire, empower and enlighten.
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