AHMEDABAD, 14 June-2014, Piyush Mishra,TNN: For an Ahmedabad woman who has cracked the UPSC exam this year, her mother-in-law has been the unfailing source of support and inspiration. This mother-in-law has dared to breach community restrictions to help her daughter-in-law triumph in the exams.
Shakuntala Vanzara was born to a nomadic tribe which did not allow girls to go to school. Hence she is illiterate but made a promise to herself that girls in her family would get the best education. She has fulfilled her mission — while her daughter Manjita Vanzara is a deputy superintendent of police, her daughter-in-law Sudhambika Vanzara cleared the UPSC exam on Thursday. Sudhambika belongs to Karnataka and secured the 1,061st rank.
“Whenever I used to enter the kitchen, my mother-in-law would send me back to the library to study,” said Sudhambika who wants to work for corruption-free governance.
Shakuntala had a tough time educating her daughters. She faced resistance from the elders of her community and also from the members of her extended family. But she continued to encourage her daughters and helped them achieve their dreams.
“I am a daughter of a farmer and still look after farms and cattle,” said Shakuntala. “Over the years, I realized how much I have lost because of being illiterate and I did not want any of the women in my family to suffer.”
Shakuntala has two daughters, one is married and settled in Mumbai and while Manjita lives with her. As for Sudhambika, she gives her husband credit for the achievement, as does Shakuntala to her husband.
“My husband is progressive in his thinking and supported my decisions regarding the education of my daughter as well as my daughter-in-law,” said Shakuntala whose husband K G Vanzara retired as the additional secretary and director, OBC/Minority Welfare.
Sudhambika’s husband, Himmat Vanzara, owns a showroom of musical instruments. “My husband sacrificed a lot for me. I could not have asked for a better life partner,” said Sudhambika who is a folk singer and dancer from the Banjara community of Shimoga, Karnataka.