As human beings, we all face a lot of issues and have to unequivocally deal with various situations eventually resulting it into our successes and failures. On achieving success we undoubtedly feel happy and thus at times we also celebrate it with huge pomp and pageantry. But at times of failure we often feel disappointed, depressed and to the extent even worse than what one could probably imagine. However if you explore around, you may come across some beings who although been faced with any harsh situations have completely overcome such obstacle with their indomitable attitude, grit and strong determination to succeed. And 24 years’ young-spirited Diksha Dinde from Pune is one among them.
As parents, the aspirations are that your toddler should attend the best school available in your vicinity but Diksha’s parents weren’t so fortunate. Reason? Diksha was a divyanga (divine body). She was differently abled and thus her admission was rejected by many schools because they either lacked accessible infrastructure or they didn’t want to accept the risk, a differently abled student could pose to the school. But none of these hurdles could hinder her path and she completed her secondary education from a municipal corporation’s school. They say, “अगर हारने से दर लगता है तो, जीतने की इच्छा कभी मत रखना” which means that “if you fear losing then you should never wish winning”. Belonging to a humble background, she completed her post-graduation and currently she is working with a traveling company, Adventure Mantra.
While pursuing her higher studies, Diksha happened to visit an orphanage during 2012-13 and it was then that she realized her aim in life. Diksha gradually became involved in social work and started working with organizations like Roshni and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. While working on grass root level, she soon understood that her situation was quite similar with those of other underprivileged children and impoverished women residing in slums of Pune. So she started advocating for rights of the differently-abled and on implementation of securing their rights. Conducting activities for the welfare of underprivileged children, Diksha also started working on disability rights and she emerged as a staunch campaigner with this as her focus area of activism in Pune. She says, “Ignorance can be a cause of suffering for future generations. And for that matter we need to fight against all odds.”
Diksha’s efforts over five years evoked recognition at an international level and she was appointed as Global Youth Ambassador of ‘A World at School’, a global movement of United Nations (UN) in support of ‘Education for All’ initiative. “On my way to Malaysia for attending Asia Pacific Future Leaders Conference, the airport authority at Mumbai detained my entry in the aircraft owing to my disability. That time I was alone at the airport. So they asked me to call my parents and restricted my further entry. I had to fight for my rights and finally I had it. I convinced them on why it’s important for me to attend this conference as an Indian delegate. Subsequently they allowed me to go ahead alone.”
At this conference, Diksha presented a paper on sustainable model for inclusive and accessible education with consideration on sustainable development goal no 4 i.e. quality education and this was her first solo international tour, she recounts. She adds, “I know there is a lot which needs to be done on the ground level to deliver social and economic justice and I am working to achieve this, the same which has also been upheld in our Indian Constitution.”
Diksha is presently focused on providing basic education to underprivileged children and on health improvement of teenage girls. She is working to create awareness on menstrual management and rights relating to the reproductive health of girls.
She shares, “I believe that for a change to happen, the edge of delivery at the grass root level has to be sharpened and only education can be the key to this social change. I would like to reach to all of them, those who are been ignored by the societal norms or such social stigma. I feel that there will be a day when people would adapt values of inclusiveness, tolerance and accept an individual irrespective of his or her caste, sex or religion and create an equitable society to live with respect and dignity.”
With much vigor and enthusiasm, the national youth awardee addresses a message to the youth saying “Just step outside the world you are living in. Explore your hidden self. Magic happens when you are out of your comfort zone.”
The whole TUSP family salutes Diksha and the efforts she is taking to make the world a better place.