- Posted May 20, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Girls + Education: Your message
- Why the US Supreme Court decision on same-sex matters for India
- Another horrific gangrape in India: What are we doing wrong?
- The dark side of India’s Kiss of Love protests against moral policing
- Perspectives from India: Why I relate to that catcalling video
- On Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's sexist remark about women
We Must Learn to Embrace Knowledge
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
What could I tell you about India that you don't already know? In India, it often feels that there is a prevailing sense of hopelessness. But on a positive note, I want to tell you my story.
I come from a small town in India called Sivakasi. I didn't always live in a city. I didn't always speak English, my mother tongue is Tamil. Sivakasi is where about 70% of India fireworks and matches are made. Growing up, I knew that not many girls in the town could go to school. They couldn't go before their parents couldn't afford it. Parents often considered their daughters a burden and hastily got them married young. Most of these young girls were also employed by the match industry. Today, this may have changed but growing up a girl in the city, I feel the same prejudices sneak their way in. I was made fun for my dreams, of wanting to do better than what was expected, of simply wanting the freedom to choose or to access my rights. Today, I feel proud that I had proved all those people wrong despite coming from a small town where so many girls still face hardships in accessing a proper education.
My message to girls around the world is to 'accept education but embrace knowledge' - Always be open to learning even when away from the classroom. It's only then that a world of opportunity opens up for you. And never, no matter how hard, stop trying.