“Enrolling in the programme is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and most of my friends,” she said.Through the programme, Ayesha learned to speak up in front of a group, discuss and debate different topics. “Our coordinators Mr Ganesh and Mr Prashant taught us how to debate confidently. They encouraged us to debate on various current topics such as history, gender and LGBTQ issues. Having the knowledge and confidence helped me to speak up especially now at my workplace,” she said. At the Mann Deshi Youth Development Center, girls are also taught how to drive a car. “Driving was one of my dreams, but I only knew of boys who could drive. But now, just like boys, I can also drive a car. Today, I am also an employed woman, thanks to the Mann Deshi programme which gave me confidence in myself,” said Ayesha who also learned to rap and write music lyrics. READ: Poonam Learns to Drive and Take Control of Her Life Today this graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree works at Bajaj Finance in Satara. Her office is about 70 km from her village. She is proud to be selected out of the 40 employees in her office to be the senior sales coordinator for the company and handle an account in Bangalore, about 700 km from her home, for three months.
“Many of my relatives did not believe in me or my talent. Thanks to Mann Deshi, my hard work and success have shown my relatives that I can achieve many things,” she said.She reminded all the young girls out there to believe in themselves. “Be confident and never underestimate yourself. There is a lot more to learn in life, you have to keep pushing yourself,” she said.