Kalpana is from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. She joined VidyaGyan, an institution of Shiv Nadar Foundation, in 2010.
Living in my village, I was not fully aware of the extent of discrimination that women face on a daily basis in our country. Lack of chance and instances of violence are so commonplace that we don’t even speak about these issues openly. When I visited the US for a ‘Women in Leadership’ course, my eyes were opened to the reality that women deserve more than what we have today and I have strived to make a difference since then. At times, I am not taken seriously as I am still a child and people do not readily pay attention to my opinions. But I hope that one day when I have achieved my goals, people will sit up and take notice of my hope for a better future. My friends call me a feminist and I am proud of this label. What that truly matters to me is that my voice is heard and that women and men will one day be given equal rights.
*VidyaGyan is a Leadership Academy, designed for the economically underprivileged, meritorious students of rural India. Established in 2009, VidyaGyan envisions bridging the urban-rural divide by creating leaders from India’s rural hinterland who can act as catalysts of change for their communities, villages, and the nation. To know more, visit www.VidyaGyan.in