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"The lady who spread her wings"- Ashweeta Shetty


Shetty: Bodhi Tree Skills

Societal norms such as gender inequalities,
child marriage and lack of education still prevail in both rural and urban
regions.  These norms have forbidden
people to spread their wings. Many people are mustering up courage and are
proving that dreams can come true if you have the passion and courage to do it.
One of those courageous people included Ashweetha Shetty.

Knowing about Ashweeta Shetty

Ashweeta Shetty grew up in a
village called Nikuran in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The village is
very famous for beedi rolling. All the people of her village rolled beedis as
their main source of income. 

Although Ashweeta grew up in a simple and peaceful
environment, but one thing that she observed that like education was not
encouraged. People in her village had a mindset that beedi rolling was more
important than going to school.  

Challenges faced

Her parents had the same
mindset and since her parents were illiterate, it was even more difficult for
her to persuade them that she wanted to do something different. Her parents grew
up in Karnataka which is a different state from Tamil Nadu, so they were even
more concerned about her safety. This was another reason why they didn’t
encourage her to pursue higher studies.

Another ‘societal’ convention
was that girls got married at an early age. Her sister got married at an early
age and her brother did some electrician course and then went for a job instead
of pursuing higher studies. Fortunately, she was able to convince her parents
and was the first one to go to a college in her family.


She pursued Bachelor’s in
Business Administration from a different place which was two hours from her
village. Initially, she kind of dropped out and still didn’t give up. With the
help of hard work and perseverance, she scored well and everyone encouraged her
to pursue higher studies. Her parents then sent her to a good college which was
blessing for her.

 Her parents were not really restrictive but
had always taught her that every decision that she makes, she has to bear the
difficulties and consequences.

Spreading her Wings

She still had the same resolute
and in her second year of graduation she thought to implement her dreams. She
looked for opportunities, applied to all the branch exams, post graduation
exams etc. Her librarian saw an advertisement about the Young India internship
and pushed her to apply for the same and luckily she got it.

When she was in fellowship, she
struggled as she was the only one who studied in rural college. She was finding
difficulty to adjust in a completely different environment but still she
overcame all her difficulties and believed that her difficulties made her grow and
learn more. She learnt to accept herself and became gentle and that year had
transformed her life.

She then started working at a
health center. She did health awareness programmes , spread awareness in many
villages about diseases, worked with school and college children on diabetic
and hyper tension condition for senior citizens.

wanted to improve the fact that many graduates like her who pursue for higher
education were not as privileged as her; very few of them got basic facilities
and opportunities. She focused on removing the urban-rural gap and motivating
every rural college graduate that they have a lot of potential and that if we she
can make it so can everyone. This gave birth to Bodhi Tree Skills (non- profit



implemented her idea by creating awareness and actively creating opportunities for
rural graduates. But she faced difficulty because of her other engagements
instead of focusing on the things which could solve the situation. She along
with her organization members focused more on improving the potency.


perseverance, courage and devotion encouraged Ashweeta to raise her voice and
became the voice of several rural people who are underprivileged. The most
important lesson that she learnt was instead of looking outside and going along
with the herd, one should focus more on looking inside as everyone is unique this
could help them to clearly live their life.

feels that privileged people should acknowledge what they have and they should
also use their resources wisely. They should be responsible and have a desire
to do something better and if they also think in a similar manner like her, the
world would be a much better place.

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