Meet Rashida Akhtar, a district social welfare officer in Jammu and Kashmir whose struggle against all odds could be an inspiration for many others
At a time when women are virtually smashing through the glass ceiling and climbing the corporate ladder, success stories about women fighting against all odds are inspiring others to follow their footsteps.
Rashida Akhtar is one such gritty woman who did not let her socio-economic situation hold her back from carving her own space. Hailing from a lower middle class family in Jammu and Kashmir, she is now a district social welfare officer there.
Rashida lost her father, who was the sole bread earner in the family, when she was just in Class III. While her mother and brothers let her study till Class X, things became difficult thereafter.
“My mother asked me to discontinue my studies because of the family’s limited income. I joined the ITI in Baramulla and completed a one-year diploma in cutting and tailoring. But since I still wanted to study further, I requested a distant relative to help me and joined a government girls’ high school,” she told The Hindu in an e-mail interaction.
It was while pursuing her Class XII studies that she came across an advertisement for a crafts teacher in the State’s Social Welfare Department.
“Though I bagged the job, I continued my studies through distance education mode and graduated in humanities. Today I work as a district social welfare officer and am proud of the positive change I could bring to my life,” said Rashida, who now stays with her adopted son and wants to serve the poor.
Lauding Rashida’s efforts, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Vinod Kumar Tikko said, “Her story should be told because it will inspire girls across the country, who have a dream but don’t have the courage to take it forward.”
Keywords: social welfare