Nirantar Lucknow

Anita, Women’s Literacy team

The Lucknow office’s Banaras import may seem small and quiet, but Anita reveals her tough girl side with peevish landlords (of whom she’s had the opportunity of meeting many), or training participants or team members under her unobtrusive eye. Between travels, remains lost in a her world of report writing!

PROFILE: SAHBA

Sahba began working at Nirantar Delhi in 2009, but shortly after, homesickness for family and her prettier, tastier city got the better of her, and she moved back to Lucknow. Not without putting out some roots, though, because we soon followed her with an office in her own Nawabi town. Sahba began her career as a teacher, and grew tired of it, thinking that there must be more to life – ‘kya life itni simple hai jitna hum pada rahe hain’. Funnily enough, many years, and software programming and NGO stints and self doubt later – ‘kafi darte darte apply kiya because I was not sure I could do it’ — she found herself at Nirantar, and turned on her philosophy with a new lens and a new energy. So while she spent years visualing a library software that never materialised (‘because when I arranged all the data, computer crashed and with that I did too’), she came into her own at Nirantar as a trainer and techie and ‘appi’ and rehnuma to young women across Lucknow who harbour IT dreams of any kind. Sahba Appi is known for her carrot and her stick, her long hours of counseling, her strategic use of religion and feminist reasoning with countless ammis and abbus, her faith in the badalti fiza of her protégés. In keeping with her gameness to try new cities and experiences and work, she now trains on literacy alongside computers and video, all while being kept in line by baby Nameira’s stern directives about time spent at home.

Har baar hum khud ko surprise karte the. Bahut bade attachments chahe nahi hain but itna kuch naya try karna aur apne ander itna kuch paana humare liye hairani bhara bhi raha and strenghthen karne wala bhi.’