Girl Power!

 Usha is very concerned about the phenomenon of        girls dropping out of school. Having seen so many    instances of it in her village, she has tried to convince    girl dropouts to return to school. A friend of hers was pulled    out of school by her parents in seventh standard because  her parents said that they needed the money and could not  afford to lose their daughter's income. To this Usha  responded, “Your daughter will earn more money later if you  allow her to go back to school.” She continued to plead with them, but to no avail.

Her friend now works as domestic help, while Usha feels terrible for having failed her. This is why, when she grows up, Usha wants to become a teacher, because this will allow her to do everything necessary to keep girls in school. Since her favourite subject is mathematics, her dream is to become a Mathematics teacher.

She said with great confidence, “If you understand mathematics, you don't have to study it. People, who say
mathematics is difficult, just have to understand it better.” Usha came to feel this way after coming to Agastya. Here, she has no fear of being punished and feels free to express her thoughts and opinions. She plans to emulate Agastya's instructors and will use stories and examples to engage her students. Her
stories will focus on social issues, and their goal will be to change village life.

Another social problem that weighs heavily on Usha's mind is child marriage, a practice that she desperately wants to put an end to. The instructors at Agastya have also told her it is wrong. Usha has seen girls who marry young suffer because men who marry young girls often remarry, abandoning their child brides.
In her village, girls are often married off after they complete tenth standard. Her opposition to child marriage gained strength after she started watching a TV programme, which highlights the trials of child marriage. She was worried that it might happen to her but her parents reassured her saying, ”We would never do that to you.”