About this iReport
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    Posted May 20, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Girls + Education: Your message

    More from meeravijayan

    We Must Learn to Embrace Knowledge


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Bangalore-based iReporter meeravijayan, who grew up in a small Indian town, experienced her own struggles in obtaining an education, before eventually succeeding in her dream to become a writer and NGO worker. The experience, however, has made her determined to inspire other girls who face daunting prospects. "Always be open to learning, even when away from the classroom," she said. "It's only then that a world of opportunity opens up for you. And never, no matter how hard, stop trying."
    - 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.

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