Penned by Ankita Deshkar

Aarti’s lemonade stall near UPAAY’s Footpathshaala center at Sitabuldi, Nagpur

She was searching for something, courage may be! She was scared but again, she was not going to give up. She was Aarti. Aarti today has started her own lemonade centre. Yes, she would earn now! For many this incident would be, ‘Uh oh! One more thela’. But for others, this is ‘women empowerment’. Women empowerment how? Because from now onwards she aims to save 100 Rs everyday in the name of her kids. She aims to provide them the quality education everyone of us gets, even when we don’t ask for it. 

NGO UPAY provided Aarti with the raw material she needed to put up a lemonade Centre and hopefully now there is no looking back for her. Her initiative stands tall on Maharaj Bagh Road. 

I was asked to speak a few words while she served her first glass of lemonade to me. Who was I to say in front of such a strong lady, who just achieved a milestone in her life. 

“Dear Aarti, I know life would be a struggle now. There would be people who would ask you to stop selling lemonade, there would be anti-encroachment drives and you would be stressed. But you will be strong with each passing day. You would be able to give your kids the life they would desire. And you will be the best entrepreneur out there.” 

For many like Aarti, ‘Simran’s mother’ we call her, thinking of doing something of their own would be challenge. 

But I am sure, she has set an example for many in her friend circle and
those who will see her everyday. 

Kishan’s mother has already asked me to find Mehendi classes for her. She wants to decorate women’s hands with heena.  

This International Women’s Day, may we all be empowered just like, ‘Aarti’.

Published by UPAY - उपाय

UPAY ...An initiative to educate Under Privileged Children from Slums & Footpaths by a group of young Engineers, Doctors , Students and senior citizens

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