“I was in the third class in school and very poor in my Mathematics and Bahasa Melayu subjects. When I was 13, I joined the Maharani programme and began to see the difference in academic performances,” she said.After school, Karthyaini began attending the after school academic coaching and skills classes at the Maharani Learning Lab (MLL) which was near her school in Sungai Siput. She regularly attended the academic coaching and skills classes until she finished her Form Four, at the age of 16. “The academic coaching really helped me. I used to dread sitting for exams because I always failed them, but after the coaching at MLL, my grades improved. I passed the subjects. My spoken English also improved,” she said. At the MLL, Karthyaini also found a new passion in the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam.
“My mother was very happy when I told her that the MLL offers free Bharatanatyam classes. I would practice at home every day and she would watch me dance. Besides dancing, I also enjoyed the baking classes offered at the MLL,” she added.Karthyaini has attended three Maharani camps. “I enjoyed the camps a lot. Being a friendly person, I made a lot of friends there. I learned to be brave, to have the right attitude and how to speak politely and firmly to others,” she said. She is now enrolled in a telecommunications course and intends to pursue a diploma as well. Karthyaini encourages all girls to join the Maharani programme.
“The girls will notice the difference in themselves when they start attending this programme. Their attitude and personality will also change for the better,” she added.The award-winning Maharani programme is offered to adolescent girls from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the Maharani programme, the girls learn about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, ethnicity and culture, and the importance of physical and spiritual wellness, giving them the tools to develop into conﬁdent, responsible and civic-minded women.