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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UPDATE: August 2010

Is Project SHAKTI's Impact Still Visible?

Yes! I returned 1 year after Project SHAKTI's two-month long program to Nagla Kharga and am delighted to see with my eyes how some girls have taken off since! Despite ongoing difficulties such as lack of family support, high fees, inability to take private tuitions, and below-standard teaching in government schools, 6 girls returned to school on my motivation and have been studying hard for over a year. These persevering young women are: Varsha, Neelum, Khushbu, Kusma, Praveen, and Pooja. Their stories are powerful shining examples of how each of us can achieve more with self-confidence and support from others.

Just before I left, Praveen, for instance, had re-entered High School but was still struggling to pass English. English was the subject that prevented her from graduating 5 years before. However, she has been determined to pass and now she has not only graduated from high school, she is studying in college while working her first job! And as a security personnel earning 3 thousand rupees a month, she is demonstrating great potential and building important skills.

In addition to the girls continuing school, I saw that Beenesh and Sumun utilized the opportunities I gave them to learn, grow, and teach. They remember my message that they can do anything they set their minds to. For example, Beenesh said, tearing, that because of my program she has been continuing to take initiative to learn important things like sewing. "I've now been able to do bigger things that make me happy... I made the suits for my aunt's marriage; she was very happy and gave me much in return!... I know more and [I see that there is more to know and do]."

I was dissapointed that Vinita and Krishna have not been continuing to grow intellectually and personally as much as I thought they would. I see intellectual potential in them, but also much complacence. But they are beautiful, bright girls and I was glad to see them happy and smiling. It is true that in the long run, my presence will have only changed a handful of girls to persevere toward their aspirations, however, I am grateful for that impact. I also have come to believe that it is always only a fraction of people that can be helped or gotten through to by any one measure. And, I am thrilled to have been able to truly help 6-8 girls out of 35!

Project SHAKTI in Continuation through Scholarships:

I am trying to support Neelum and Khushbu in particular with their private schooling fees. I left with them money for their upcoming fees and requested that they mail my aunt their grade reports. I did not promise more funds, but I hope that they understand that the more they do on their part to show me their progress, successes, and areas where they need help - the more I information I have to fully assist them.

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