On Tuesday 2nd October, Capco welcomed a very special visitor. For the past five years, Capco’s employees have raised funds, volunteered and conducted pro-bono work for Room to Read, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of millions of children in low-income countries. Kamla Bisht was one of those children and told us her story.
In India, 47 percent of women are married before their 18th birthday. When she was just 15-year-old, Kamla’s father first informed her of her impending marriage. She went on hunger strike.
After three days, Kamla appealed to Chandu di, a Room to Read social mobilizer at Kamla’s school in Aarohi, Uttarakhand, for advice. Thanks to Chandu di’s support, Kamla was able to negotiate with her father to stay in education and not to pursue with the arranged marriage. It was only after this point that Kamla’s hunger strike ended.
Today, Kamla’s parents are fully supportive of her career, and she is not only an inspiration to her local community, but to people all over the world.
“I was the first girl in my village to become a nursery teacher. Now there are seven. I have created a path for myself and others,” said Kamla.
But Kamla’s success continued. After receiving Best Teacher from her teaching training programme, Kamla was awarded the Gandhi Fellowship, and now works in the research and development team of an education NGO in New Delhi.
“Before Room to Read came to my school, I never considered ‘What does a girl want, or what do I want?’ Today, I always tell people to let girls dream.”
Indeed, Kamla’s next goal is to host a Ted talk, a dream that I believe she will also fulfil one day.
Room to Read’s girls’ education and literacy programmes have benefitted more than 16 million children. With Capco’s ongoing support and donations, Room to Read can continue to support girls like Kamla.