Married at the age of 11 years when she was studying in Class V, Roshni managed to obtain a B Ed and two master’s degrees in Hindi and Sanskrit while completing her studies in fits and starts. In a vindication of her hard work, she was recently selected as a Sanskrit post-graduate teacher (PGT) by the Haryana education department.
Her determination for education and a career helped her break the glass ceiling at the age of 46 after her sons had settled in their careers as a marine engineer and a doctor. Her elder son Amit, 26, is US-based marine engineer and younger son, Sumit (24), is a doctor and Captain in the Army medical corps.
Roshni credits her husband, Sube Singh, a Haryana Roadways employee, who will retire this year on turning 58, for being her inspiration. On the eve of the International Women’s Day, she is waiting for her joining letter to formally start her career as a government teacher.
Roshni has also cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission and is eligible to become an assistant professor in university or college.
Her road to success was not an easy one, says Roshni, whose determination and spirit are an inspiration for residents of Hansi tehsil.
Roshni and her elder sister were married to two brothers from the same family, as used to be a common practice in rural Haryana. However, she shifted to her husband’s home after she cleared Class VIII. When she expressed interest in continuing her studies, her mother-in-law rebuked her, “If you go to school, who will take care of buffaloes.”
She restarted her education after a gap of 3-4 years, but birth of two children again put a brake on her studies. She started stitching clothes and keeping buffaloes to earn money as her husband did not have a job at the time. He later got employment as a mechanic in the state roadways department.
Undeterred by setbacks, Roshni continued her studies and started teaching children at a private school in her village so that her children could get fees waiver.
Roshni recalls she used to study till 2 am after finishing house work, stitching clothes and teaching her sons. “Still, I was satisfied that I was studying and an invisible power always helped me. I continued to fight all odds with my children and used to often sing, ‘Hum Honge Kamyab…’ to boost their morale. My sons completed their education from the country’s top institutes and I completed my B Ed, double MA, NET, teachers’ eligibility tests of Haryana and the central government,” she says.
Her husband says Roshni cleared all the competitive examinations without any coaching. Sube, however, bought a newspaper every evening so that she could keep abreast of latest news for general knowledge.
“I don’t need a job as both my sons have handsome salary packages. But I qualified the examination and took the job to show people who used to ask me what I would do with my educational qualifications… Today, I can proudly respond to them,” adds Roshni.
She is proud that villagers use her story to inspire their daughters. “I just want to say that women have immense power if they organize themselves. I will be happy if I could inspire more girls to study so that they can choose a career of their choice and become financially independent.”