The youth of our country is our greatest source of strength in many ways. Indian youth has left its impression in almost every field. While some young individuals’ efforts and success is making a roaring sound, many others’ efforts and success are uplifting the lives of the people around them. One of India’s such young prodigy is Divya Priyadarshni, a 24-year-old from Bihar who has, through her immense contribution, has proved to be a blessing to the children of India.
“Improvement starts with taking a step forward and once you start doing it, it becomes an addiction”
Divya grew up in a lower middle class and a rather patriarchal family. It’s well established that women in a patriarchal society face multiple difficulties to build a respectable place for themselves to live in. Likewise, Divya had to endure many difficulties from an early stage. She realized that staying strong and fighting for what she rightfully deserves is the only way forward to a better life. Since she herself faced challenges growing up, she also felt the need to help many other girls who too were been subjected to similar difficulties. Thus began her journey of social work. When in 6th standard, a time during which most of us are busy attending classmate’s birthday parties, Divya took up upon herself to educate little children belonging to the extremely underprivileged background living around her residential area. Divya continued this for three whole years. The overwhelming satisfaction of helping the unfortunate with something as basic and important as education encouraged her to only keep moving forward in the direction.
Divya Priyadarshni has always been a bright student and also an active participant in extracurricular activities. She was awarded the Pratibha Samman after completing class 10th but as the social constructs of typical Indian families go, she was forced to choose a science background against her will. Nevertheless, considering her family’s financial conditions and being the eldest child in the family, she reluctantly had to continue with pursuing a degree in science.
Further, she also took up a project named ‘Nirman’, under which she has identified the problem within a community and led many projects like English Literacy, Wall Kalakaar. According to Divya, “The word “Nirman” signifies the process of building something having a positive impact. Divya’s aim is to build skills like leadership, critical thinking, collaboration, and teamwork in students; skills that are the key parameters to make students self-aware about their life goals. In order to achieve this goal, there was an urgent need for a collaborative voice. For this purpose, Divya set up a student council that was going to be the ‘voice of students”.
Divya says that the future of the Indian economy depends on skill-based education and that is what she is trying to develop under the Life and Entrepreneurship Skill Enhancement Program in Secondary education.
Even when the world is facing the worst crisis, the only thing she is committed to doing is to spread awareness around this pandemic in the area where there is no access to the internet through bridging the communication with one student to another and providing the best information that she can by grass root level community immersion.
Divya says the projects and community interventions have not only shaped her in the direction of being a social entrepreneur but more importantly, in becoming a social being who knows the value of social architecture.
As we all know the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 has been released in July 2020. The Policy aims at transforming School Education and Teacher Education in India. NEP 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century that addresses many growing developmental imperatives of our country and is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Now, to enhance to the impact of the same, Divya organized an online session highlighting how teachers play a vital role in creating an overall impact in the student’s life with improved teaching pedagogy and innovative way of teaching. This session was attended by teachers as well as Gandhi fellows and student leaders. She also successfully organized a workshop for the discussion on making the schools of the Jhunjhunu district ready for innovation based on life and entrepreneurship skills.
She is currently working on SPOT-ON with her two friends, Ankit Pandey and Abhay Kumar Ojha, which aims at helping existing SHGs (Self Help Group) to form sanitary napkin production micro-units by providing them with technologically innovative machines, along with raw materials, maintenance services, and access to finance and subsidies. The work done by this trio has received immense applaud. The tireless effort of these prodigies resulted in receiving and award at the Festival for change contest in Promoting Economic Pluralism. Apart from this, Divya Priyadarshni is also working as a policy enthusiast with a group that works in the Public policy domain. She believes that “The idea which is going to nurture a community is the best possible gift you can return to your community”.