As we march along on our mission to empower women, the faces change—the stories remain. These incidents, anecdotes inspire us to work harder, to aid as many as we can and become forces of change. Here are some that show our service is bringing fruits.
Anju’s story— of having two daughters
It was a scorching afternoon in June 2019 and volunteers of Youth Veerangnayen were marching the streets of Prem Vihar in Delhi.
Watching from afar, Deepak, a resident of Prem Vihar, was in his car pressing the horn non-stop, waiting for the horde of volunteers to pass. He then rolled down his car window and asked the women to step aside for the car to pass. That was when he and his wife in the front seat heard the slogans:
“गर्भ में पल रही बेटी कर रही है चीख पुकार,
हिम्मत है तो माँ मुझे पैदा कर के मार|”
(Translation: The daughter growing in the womb cries, ‘Mother, if you’re courageous, kill me after you have given birth to me.’)
Hearing this, Deepak’s wife, Anju’s face dropped. Crying, she asked her husband to take her back to their home. When YV volunteers talked to them, they found out that Deepak and Anju were pregnant with a daughter. After having a 5-year old daughter already, they were going to abort their second female child. But, Anju had a change of heart after listening to the slogans. After a while, they gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who is now very loved and treasured.
Slowly but surely, our work is bringing change. Although female infanticide continues to be rampant in India, we continue to educate the masses and crusade against this immoral practice.
How Jyoti’s life turned 180 degrees
In December 2019, volunteers of Youth Veerangnayen organized a street play portraying the ill-effects of addiction in Devigarh. Jyoti Rani, a resident of this village in Patiala district of Punjab, was impressed and she came up to the volunteers aftwards.
She then started narrating the ordeal at her home. Jyoti told us her husband, who was a school bus driver, consumed alcohol worth the money he earned during the day. Not only that, but he also consumed other intoxicants and stimulants. As a result, the condition of her house had worsened to a point where she had become a victim of thrashings and beatings.
Hearing this, our volunteers took it upon themselves to talk to Jyoti’s husband and educate him on how his lifestyle could have nasty consequences on his health and family. In addition, our volunteers got him medicines, motivated him to do yoga and counseled him for a short period.
We also taught Jyoti sewing in the nearby free sewing center run by YV volunteers. After about 6 months, when we arrived at the same village, we saw how Jyoti’s life had changed for the better.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse continues to affect millions in the country. We raise our voice to help the addicted and their suffering families change their lives.
Nisha’s story of becoming a breadwinner and inspiring many more!
In Kaithal (Haryana), Nisha Puri was struggling to find ways to help her family’s situation. Even after polio rendered her partially diabled, she had not given up. To support her ailing father and younger siblings, she was convinced by Youth Veerangnayen volunteers to learn sewing.
In a few months, Nisha became a tailor after learning to sew at the local stitching center run by our volunteers. Gradually, she began to earn a living and support her family by stitching clothes for locals. Today she is a proud breadwinner. She continues to serve as an inspiration for other girls learning sewing at our centers. Several women who looked up to her have started making a living on their own.
Yet, our work to empower remains less than accompanied. Millions of women in the country are in need of the support our volunteers provide.
Hear From Our Volunteers
Eight years and there’s miles to go!
I have been volunteering with the Youth Veerangnayen for over 8 years now and the experience has been very fulfilling. In the last few years, I have been associated with the Panipat unit of YV in Haryana. In our district, we run several stitching centers to train women and evening classes for children in need.Our volunteers have also established coaching centers where we teach underprivileged students upto the 10th Class for free. Alongside these, we frequently organize seminars, camps and rallies on a variety of themes, including Beti Bachao, drug addiction and waste disposal.
Despite the challenging times that the COVID-19 pandemic brought, we have continued to serve. On Women’s Day in 2021, we distributed sewing machines to several women trained at our centers. And with the second wave of pandemic upon us, we began distributing masks, sanitizers and home-cooked food to all those in need. The satisfaction we have after learning that our efforts are bringing joy to hundreds motivates us to move forward everyday.
The recognition our work gets also pushes us forward. In my years of working at YV, I have received several awards, including the ‘Mahila Ratna Award’ and the ‘Mahila Durga Shakti Award’. Our work in the Panipat Unit led us to being awarded the title, ‘Corona Warrior’ by ‘Voice of Panipat’, a leading local news channel. Today, I am a proud ‘veerangna’ (translation: warrior) working to bring change.
Panipat Unit (Haryana)
I have been with the Youth Veerangnayen since it began. Since 2010, I have taken part in dozens of rallies that YV organized. Over the years, we have seen how these rallies have been instrumental in motivating women towards education and men to fight addiction. But, after realizing the need for interaction with smaller groups, we began organizing seminars around several in 2017.
As a teacher, I have regularly volunteered at our free study center in Hisar. I have taught dozens of children and it has been very satisfying for me to use my expertise to help the underprivileged. However, our biggest challenge at these centers was not teaching, but convincing parents to let their children study.
A few years ago, we made the decision to include small lessons on dishonesty, drug abuse etc. in our evening classes. This was done to ensure that the children we taught grew up with great moral values. At that time, a little girl whose father drank alcohol and smoked frequently was in our evening classes. Every day, she pestered her father to give up drinking and smoking until one day, he did. Later, her mother came to thank us.
To this day, the incident keeps me going and continues to be a reminder of the impact a few hours of volunteering can make.
Previously in Hisar, now in Sirsa
I joined the Youth Veerangnayen as a member in 2012 because my values aligned very closely with what YV wishes to achieve. Since then, I have been able to contribute to most of YV programs running in Tohana (Haryana).
As a ‘veeranga’ (translation: warrior), my goal has been to help, to bring joy—to touch a few lives and make them better. To achieve this goal, I have performed in street plays, marched in awareness rallies, spoken at awareness seminars and distributed books to under-privileged children.
Seeing the impact of our work—whether it is the smiling faces of children who have studied at our center or the enthusiasm of drug addicts eager to quit, fills me with so much joy. Moreover, volunteering at YV has allowed me to grow immensely as an individual. I am very grateful to be a part of an organization that serves, empowers and creates changemakers.
Member, Tohana Unit