Yasmeen lived in a family of eight in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. She has three elder sisters, all of whom got married early. But Yasmeen’s mother supported her in continuing in school until she completed her 10th standard. Yasmeen’s father worked in a bakery and was the primary breadwinner in the family. Due to his conservative views and choices on behalf of his daughters, education was sidelined in the family.
Yasmeen’s school principal counselled her parents and convinced them to allow her to join the MIC program in their local area. A few more girls from her neighbourhood joined the program along with Yasmeen. This was a first in the community where cultural constraints largely kept girls from exploring work or careers.
Post the training, she got a job at a sample collection centre. Yasmeen said, “ It’s hard to describe the excitement and pride I felt when I received my first salary. The feeling that I could buy things for my family was amazing.” After working here for a few months, she found another opportunity as a receptionist at a scan centre near her house. Both the location and hours were better in the new job.
She now aims to continue in this job and believes that the MIC program has opened doors for her and other girls in the community. She said, “We never dreamt of pursuing careers earlier but the MIC program gave us the confidence to dream; it made us understand the need to learn and earn in life.”
The experiences of Yasmeen and her friends have led to a mindset shift within their families also. Many of them are now happy to support their daughters’ dreams and career aspirations.