30-year-old Jayashree Rajpurohit hails from a Brahmin family from Umedpur village in Jalore district, Rajasthan. Brahim women in this area often follow the restrictive tradition of wearing a veil and rarely venture out of their homes. Jayshree studied until 10th grade and married soon after. She soon had two lovely kids and lived a very happy life with her husband. Unfortunately, her life changed for the worse when her husband suddenly fell ill. To save her husband, Jayashree went from pillar to post taking a lot of debt from neighbours and friends. However, her husband did not get better and passed away. With his demise, Jayashree’s life became a constant struggle trying to repay debts and figuring a way to look after her young children. Her in-laws stopped supporting her completely and she moved back to her parents’ house. Things improved when a coordinator from Educate Girls- an NGO working to promote girls’ education visited her. Whilst conversing, the coordinator learnt of Jayashree’s plight and encouraged her to take the vacant teacher’s post at the Panchayat School.
Determined to take control of her life, Jayashree accepted the offer. Since the last two years, Jayashree has been working with Educate Girls in the Balika project, where she enrolls and teaches young girls. In addition, she is actively voiced her thoughts against the veil practice and faced many criticisms. With time, women in her community started understanding the value of educating their daughters and supported Jayashree. Today, Jayashree remains relentless in the cause and is among the leaders of her community. Jayashree is studying for her Grade 12 examinations and looks forward to going to college. Quote: “Any girl like me will never be facing the same fate as me because of the veil. It’s my promise and commitment to stand up for them”