Yesterday, I wrote a post about an article talking about a man named Ehsan in Afghanistan who has created a system of underground schools for women in Afghanistan, called “Underground literacy in Afghanistan: a man’s job?”
While applauding what he has been doing, I also lamented the fact that almost all the stories we hear about literacy initiatives and education for women in countries like Afghanistan are about men who do these things … who are “saving” women from illiteracy and despair.
Today, I bring you a story about a woman who is making a difference in women’s literacy!
Masarat Daud: “A young Dubai-based Indian is out to reinvent the lives of her village-people in Rajasthan by empowering them with education, self-expression and enterprise.” (Getting Down to Grassroots, Kaleej Times)
From the 8 Day Academy Facebook page:
8-Day Academy is an initiative by Masarat Daud, a 26-year-old Indian girl who has lived in Dubai all her life. In February 2009, to escape the monotony and creativity demise of her high-flying job, she quit work to return to her village (Fatehpur Shekhavati) in Rajasthan, India to lead social change.
She divides her time between Dubai and India, teaching 8-Day Academy in different villages and slums (currently in Rajasthan).
In February 2009, she trained 17 village school teachers in Computers. In a few months, these teachers had taught Computers to 100 students!
The 8-Day Academy makes literacy viral and in just eight days because rural communities cannot afford to wait for four years to finish a degree and THEN use the education. The ‘bottom of the pyramid’ are the people who will lead to major social change.
8-Day Academy also believes in the power of TED and Masarat is creating the first TEDx conference in India with a rural audience on January 19, 2010 (@TEDxShekhavati on Twitter).
There is also an 8 Day Academy YouTube channel.
Masarat is definitely proof that some of the most inspiring stories about promoting women’s literacy are about women’s accomplishments.