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Overcoming grief and stigma, Samta transforms her life through vocational training and financial independence.

Samta told the people in her community that, “This is my life. No matter how bad or good the decision is for my life, I will take care of it.”

Once shattered by the loss of two husbands and facing relentless ostracization, Samta’s (a twenty-year-old young girl from Gaya District of Bihar, India) life took a remarkable turn when she embraced an opportunity for empowerment. Through the support of Yuva Sashaktikaran, a project aimed at empowering marginalized youth, Samta found solace, strength, and a pathway to a better future.

Samta’s journey began with a fortuitous encounter with the representatives of Yuva Sashaktikaran in her village. Entrusted with the responsibility of mobilizing and empowering youth collectives, these representatives provided an avenue for marginalized young individuals, like Samta, to enhance their skills and achieve financial independence.

Haunted by the societal stigma and torment she faced as a widow, this young girl, mustered the courage to share her heart-wrenching story with Mamta Devi, one of the dedicated youth mobilizers who frequently visited her village. Mamta Devi empathized deeply with Samta’s struggles and recognized the urgent need to integrate her into skill-building programs to foster her financial empowerment.

Her parents used to say – “Stay at home, do household chores and whatever is written in your destiny will happen to you”.

Despite initial resistance from her parents, who had resigned themselves to fate, Samta resolved to take control of her life, disregarding the disapproval of her family and society. Displaying an unwavering determination to improve her situation, she realized that vocational training was her path to liberation and a brighter future.

Samta’s resolve led her to enroll in a comprehensive three-month vocational training program in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. Undeterred by the lack of financial support from her family, she embarked on this journey of self-reliance, knowing that it held the key to breaking free from her distressing circumstances.

Upon completion of her training, Samta secured a promising position in the housekeeping department of a reputable hotel in Rajigir, Bihar. With a salary of INR 7000/- per month, she gained not only financial independence but also a renewed sense of self-esteem and confidence.

Now empowered with skills and busking with confidence, Samta looks forward to her future with newfound determination. Thus, her mother, who once could not support her daughter whole-heartedly mentions with a teary-eye, “People say that it is her ill-fate, that has taken away both her husbands. I am relieved now, that she can lead her life and become free from all shackles of social prejudice. As a mother I would pray her a successful career”.

Firmly believing that education is the gateway to personal growth, she aspires to continue her studies, aiming to transcend the limitations that forced her to discontinue her education due to early marriage. Thus, she mentions, “I will study along with my job and make my life beautiful. Every girl should learn business skills in her life so that she does not become more fragile under any circumstances and can stand alone”.

Samta’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of empowerment initiatives and the resilience of the human spirit. Her story serves as an inspiration to countless others, reminding us that with opportunity, support, and determination, even the most marginalized individuals can defy odds and shape their destiny.

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