ETASHA Stories: Sushma

sushma
Sushma is currently a core member of ETASHA’s Career Development Centre in Gurgaon.

By Natalija Zdešar

Sushma is a lovely young girl who recently started to build her life for real. She comes from a family of seven members in Gurgaon. Her father worked in the army and is retired now and her mother is a housewife. She has an elder brother and a sister, both are married. Her younger sister is studying microbiology and a younger brother was in the army too.

Her family doesn’t have much money issues, but that doesn’t mean that Sushma’s life is any easier. “There are no big money issues in our family. My problem is that I’m a girl and in Haryana, people don’t allow girls to do much after they finish 12th class. The girls have to stay at home, help around the house, cook and just wait to be married off. I’ve spent seven years of my life at home doing almost nothing,” she explains.

However, she took a few short-term courses which enabled her to leave the house only for two hours every day. “I felt alone, I felt that there was no one who would understand me and with whom I could share my feelings. I had no friends,” she said. Her situation drove her to the edge of depression. Her doctor suggested her father to get her out of the house as much as possible. During that time, ETASHA’s community mobilization team visited her house and told her family about ETASHA’s programs. Her father thought that it would be good for her to join. Her mother didn’t agree with this decision because she was worried that her regular going out of the house could jeopardise her marriage prospects. That is when Sushma took an initiative for the first time and decided to join the course irrespective of what her mother said.

After she completed the course on Computerized Office and Data Entry, she got a call from ETASHA for a job. “There was a vacancy, and they told me that I’m one of ETASHA’s best trainees and that they want me to work for them,” she said. Over the past months, Sushma’s confidence has grown immensely, and it reflects in how she has changed the way she wears her scarf, how she carries herself, and how she now opens up with people. “This is a happy environment for me. Now everything is going okay. When I used to talk to people about my depression I would start crying, but now I laugh,” she said.

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About the author – Natalija Zdešar was EVS volunteer (January 2015 – April 2015) at ETASHA Society.