“It is great to see my mother and other women of my community breathe clean air inside and outside our homes”
Jyoti Yogi, Alumnus, Satya Bharti School, Amer (Rajasthan)
Villagers of Amer relied heavily on unclean fuel such as firewood and cow dung cakes for indoor cooking. The smoke from these fires adversely affects women’s health. Due to this practice there was also a rising concern of deforestation expressed by the local forest department. Jyoti Yogi, a student of Satya Bharti School, Amer, attended a Swachh Bharat event organized by her school where she heard about the Ujjwala Yojna [a Government scheme under which underprivileged families are provided with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders]. She also learnt of the importance of using clean fuel and its impact on the environment.
Jyoti’s teachers had taught her that the responsibility of caring for the environment lies with every citizen; on hearing the Sarpanch talk about the benefits of Ujjwala Yojana, Jyoti resolved that she would take on the challenge of creating awareness in the community and persuade families from her community to avail of this win-win scheme. Initially, her parents were not in favour of Jyoti’s door-to-door campaign and they also feared that her studies would be neglected. They threatened to withdraw Jyoti from school, but she did not give up and continued to campaign extensively in her community. Her teachers came out in full support and also assured her parents that they would not let her studies get neglected by giving her extra lessons whenever needed. With this assurance, Jyoti’s parents gave her their blessings to campaign under the guidance of her teachers.
Jyoti’s resolve to increase awareness in the community led to many families applying for the scheme and even more to join her in her campaign; thus persuading many villagers to gain benefit from the scheme. With the paradigm shift in place, the young activist has now shifted focus back to her studies as she prepares for her Class X Board exams.
Story sourced by:
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