If Bhuteri had done what most girls in her community do, she would have been married in her early teens, like her older sisters.

Intelligent and curious, Bhuteri wanted to go to primary school. But in Bandipura, a remote village in the State of Rajasthan, many parents fear education for girls will get in the way of their marriage prospects.

So Bhuteri took matters into her own hands. A child of illiterate parents, she enrolled at iimpact in its early years.

“I started visiting the school along with other girls from my neighborhood. I felt good going to the school and studying there,” Bhuteri says.

“We were given books, notebooks, pencil, boards and other stationeries. Coming from a poor family, it would have been impossible for me to continue studying and purchasing of books, had it not been for iimpact.”

"Coming from a poor family, it would have been impossible for me to study and purchase books, had it not been for iimpact"

The path to education wasn’t always easy for Bhuteri – she studied for up to five hours a day, while helping her mother at home. Her reward was a solid foundation in reading, writing and mathematics. After she graduated, Bhuteri went on to college, returning to iimpact as a teacher.

Bhuteri’s education hasn’t only helped her. Her community now has a new appreciation of the importance of education, and many parents who would previously never have dreamed of educating their girls are now education advocates.

Bhuteri has gradually taught both her parents to proudly write their names, recognise letters and identify numbers.

Bhuteri’s two younger sisters followed her into the iimpact program, and she has become a role model for her brother’s daughters as well, who started their schooling recently, alongside other girls in their community. Bhuteri now has an MA, and two daughters.

“I am going to ensure that they both complete their studies and contribute to the society in a meaningful way,” she says.

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iimpact Australia is appealing to individuals and charitable foundations to help us keep these Learning Centres open and provide education to girls like Bhuteri in rural India.

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