[Interview] “It Is A New Life, I Made New Friends And I Got A New Chance Here”

Vijaya Kumari, 33, is a recent graduate of our Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). As a mother of three and having only had the opportunity to study until 8th Standard, we sat down with Viji to understand some of the story which led her to enroll.

Viji’s journey with Reality began when her daughter saw a pamphlet (distributed by Reality staff amongst the communities we serve in Dharavi). Her daughter convinced her to enroll, telling her it would help children with their homework (all attend schools where the curricula are taught in English) and give her confidence in communicating with all kinds of people. She tells us, “education is the most important. My children want to be educated; they have dreams. For them to complete their dreams, that’s why I work hard for them”.

Over the 15 weeks Viji flourished. Picking up new concepts and ideas quickly, I liked the teachers who were very friendly” she shares, “they made me feel as a family with the other students. It is a new life, I made new friends, and I got a new chance here”.

“YEP has been helpful in both my personal and professional life” Viji continues, “I want to be a fashion designer. [Since graduating] I got the chance to study in a college that specialises in tailoring and fashion designing. The YEP was helpful in that I was more confident and English was useful to get admission”.

Confidently looking ahead to the future, Viji informs us that “after one year in college, my ambition will be completed – I’ll be a fashion designer”.

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