My Books Were Burnt The On The Very First Day

Pinky (Changed Name) is a member of the Self Help Group Gouspura. Gouspura is a very old slum in the old part of Gwalior and is infamous for gambling, alcohol, crime and violence. While the SHG formation meeting was going on with Priyanka, Mala and Nabil, the office bearers of the group had to be decided. Nabil asked Pinky if she was educated and she said "yes, I am eighth pass, when I came to my family I had been off school since fifth standard, but my mother-in-law understood my eagerness to study and allowed me to study till class 8th". While discussing this with Chini (Changed Name) , Priyanka asked why did she allow Pinky to continue studying till class 8th . Chini replied “ we come from a society where girl child education is not a favored practice , when I got married and entered my new house, I use to have a box with all my education papers upto class 4th. It was only once that I asked my mother in law if I could study further. The next thing that happened was that I found my box in ashes , with all papers burnt. I asked my mother in law why did she do so, she said “Education corrupts”, no education , no fuss in the family. Time passed and there were in-numerous education where my lack of education posed me as a barrier to my life. When my daughter in law joined the family, I did not want to repeat what had happened with me, and allowed her to study. Although she could not study beyond class 8th due to pressure of housework, what makes me feel proud is that Pinky can proudly say I can read and write, and that she is being unanimously chosen as the treasurer for the newly formed SHG.

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