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Awakening futures

"I want the children to see and be awakened just like I was,” said Chanchla, a Dalit woman who now recognises the value of her rights, her voice and her entitlements.

In coastal communities of India, Dalit people face ongoing challenges, lacking resources and quality education as well as experiencing exclusion and discrimination. Chanchla, a member of one such community, found hope through the Lok Manch program, run by our partner, the Jesuit Research and Development Society.

She joined a women's group and learnt about her rights and entitlements.

Empowerment is key to the project – uplifting women like Chanchla and amplifying their voices to bring opportunity and independence. 

Chanchla dropped out of school at an early age, married young and had never known about government schemes to support her and her community, or the value of education.

"Chanchla herself is uneducated and illiterate, but her passion and commitment to get her children educated is touching,” said Liz Kim, International Programs Coordinator of Jesuit Mission, who met Chanchla on her recent project-monitoring trip to India with Kath Rosic, International Programs Director of Jesuit Mission.

Kath, Chanchla and Liz.

"Liz and I attended a community meeting with more than 100 people. It was my first time to visit the Lok Manch project, and I was overwhelmed by the excitement and gratitude that was shared,” said Kath.

"Chanchla was so happy to be included in the program, to learn and have the ability and support to access her entitlements,” said Kath.

Through the transformative impact of education, Chanchla and her community can begin to build pathways out of poverty, to stand up for their rights and live with dignity.

Her passion to ‘awaken others’ by encouraging them to prioritise education will uplift her community today and for generations to come.

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