Elesha Nayak

My father is a plumber in Kuwait so he would visit us once in 2 or 3 years. We weren’t financially well, so my mother, me, and my two sisters had spent our entire childhood in a village in Odisha. Since childhood I had taken up a lot of responsibilities. I would take my mother on a bicycle if she gets sick or would do all the grocery shopping by walking miles around in an extremely hot temperature. Life was very tough back then. One day my mother decided to visit her sister in Bhubaneswar, when she saw their lifestyle and the way the kids used to talk in English, she realized how her kids never got any real education. She decided to move here to the city so that we three could get the education we need. When she told this news to our relatives in the village, they all opposed, everyone would say “Why do you have to educate your girls? Ultimately they will get married, so stop wasting your husband’s money”. But my mother was very adamant, she fought her way out and brought all three of us to Bhubaneswar. My father also wanted us to study and become independent, he would always say that “I never got any real education, but I want my girls to do everything”. My aunt in Bhubaneswar asked my mom not to enroll us in English medium school as it is a waste of money to spend on girls’ education. With whatever savings my mother had with her, she enrolled us in an Odia medium school. After a few months, someone very close visited my mom and told her about how lavish her lifestyle is because she invests in chit funds. My mom got fascinated by this, she thought it will be very helpful for her kid’s education in the future, so she trusted her and started giving all her savings one by one. After a year or so, we realized that person was a fraud and they used to run a scam in that area, she got arrested and my mother lost all her money. When my father got to know about this, he was very frustrated, he fought with my mother, news spread very quickly in my village as well and everyone started blaming my mother for her decision, we could sense depression in my house, it was a very tough for me to deal with, mentally. Life went on and I graduated from Bhubaneswar.

Since my college didn’t have any placement opportunities, I couldn’t get any job. One day I got a link about Infosys placement drive, and I gave the interview and got selected. It was the happiest day for me and my parents. I know my mother was proud of me that day, it felt like all her struggles, fights with society were worth it. My relative’s “male” kids couldn’t land a job, but I and my sister did. We called our relatives and informed them about it, some were happy while the majority still had that sexist mentality.

When I was growing up, I used to question myself “What if like the other kids, my father would also have been around with me for my entire childhood?”, when other kids would post pictures with their dads on social media and other platforms, I would realize that I only have 3-4 pics with him. I did miss a lot on that aspect of life, but I know my father made all those sacrifices so that he could provide us shelter, food, and money for our education. We are planning to call him back from Kuwait, I know me and my sister had just started working and the money won’t be enough for 5 people to survive but we will figure out something. My father wanted me to go for higher studies as well and do more great things in life, so I am going to do that. Looking back at my past I realized how far we have come, that my parents have given me my wings, now it’s my time for me to fly and no one in society can stop me now.

Total Work Experience : 1 Year (Infosys)

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