Hi! I'm Lipi Gupta.

I had an adventure this summer in Agra, India trying to make a difference in the lives of 35 young women of Nagla Kharga Village. I'd like to share my experience with you; I hope their stories move you as much as they have inspired me! Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me [by posting a comment/question] if I can be of assistance in any way, in a similar endeavor of yours!

Project SHAKTI was funded as one of 2009's 100 Projects for Peace.

Project SHAKTI Overview

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Reflections | What I've Learned About Myself & How Has the Experience Impacted Me?

  • One foundational assumption I made is that people want to learn and improve themselves. I’m happy to have found so many here for whom this is true. So, carrying out this project allayed my fear that I’m completely deluded or naïve. And, at the same time, it’s given me realistic insight into what impedes progress. In the course of 2 months, I’ve probably encountered and dealt with more manipulative and/or stupid people than I’ve cared to get to know in my lifetime before. And I was tougher than I’ve ever had to be with people, especially the girls -- to win their respect and to bolster their own self-respect and self-discipline. Yet, I’ve simultaneously been acting with a degree of empathy and love and forgiveness and compassion and self discipline that I didn’t even know I had in me. This was the greatest growth for me: seeing how much determination I can have, how much love I have for people, and how I am capable of bringing out love in some by sticking to the principles I claim to value and by believing in their capacity for goodness. Seeing the power of having faith in others and of faith in oneself (in the young women I worked with especially) was really inspiring.
  • Trust myself. Most of what I felt in my gut has come true -- like even that this project could really help some girls! I'm glad I went with that hunch. ;)  What was most moving, was seeing that, yes indeed, the girls are capable of so much more than is expected of them--and seeing them rise to the opportunities I presented them with - was beautiful.
  • I'll make mistakes. But, sometimes it's a bigger mistake not to. So, I need to let go of the fear.
  • My family is there for me more than I can ever repay them for or even imagine. I’m humbled by their support, time, energy, sacrifice, and finally, trust in letting me take my own risks and make my own mistakes. Also, I'm blessed with wonderful friends who can show me the way when I'm confused.
  • Conducting Project SHAKTI has been incredibly rewarding, eye-opening, life-changing in the relationships I’ve made with the girls, and humbling from better grasping what kind of strength and determination is sustained by those who make a positive difference in the world.

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