Sahjani Shiksha Kendra, Lalipur

Meena, Gyasi Bai, Nanhi Kachhi, Kanija, Sheela, Sangita, Laxmi, Pushpa, Jasoda, Savita, Bhankunwar, Nirmala Tiwari, Sonam Asati, Kusum Ahirwar, Rajkumari, Deshraj, Kalawati, Sunita, Rajkumari, Usha Sen, Parvati, Urmila 

Gyasi is now the member of the senior leadership in SSK. We first met her in May 2003 when we were trying to mobilise women to attend the literacy camp. She said she had studied up to Class 8, but had forgotten and wanted to read and write again. A six-month pregnant Gyasi argued with her family and somehow managed to attend the camp. After that she came to each of the four camps held that year. Gyasi had the potential of becoming a teacher. Once this was suggested to her, she worked ceaselessly. Between camps, she would visit the centres regularly.

When anyone visited her village, she would bring out her books. We involved her in teaching at the camps. After a year of intensive trainings and inputs she was given a centre to run. She used to cycle to the centre every day from her village, 5 km away, and was able to reach out to a number of women. Now with growing experience, skills and commitment which is recognised by the programme, she leads a team of sahjanis responsible for the literacy programme within SSK. She is also emerging as a resource person who provides inputs to other organisations.

In an area where it is extremely difficult to find literate women, the programme realises that investing in women like Gyasi is one important way in which we can move forward. Like Gyasi there are now 6 Sahjanis out of 23 who have emerged from the centres, camps or Janishala and are now staff members of SSK.