Going Places, Growing Exposure

When we talk about beating the blues in life with strong willpower and determination; SudhaParmar’s face flashes in front of the eyes. She is a strong-willed woman who has beaten all odds to continue her education along with work. She is employed in the Virtual Field Support Center in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

She holds a B.Tech degree in computer science and is pursuing M.Tech along with her job. Sudha is the fourth child in a family of five daughters, a son, a mother, and a father. Her brother is the youngest child and all her elder sisters are married. “Looking at my family situation, with a retired father at home and a homemaker mother, I was not able to decide on my future,” tells Sudha with a hint of nostalgia. Although she worked with BHEL as a graduate trainee for one year she exclaims that she lacked the confidence to speak up to her stakeholders and seniors.

She was bright and full of ideas but could not find the space to express there. She felt that her potential was undermined as a trainee. Despite the family conditions, she decided to continue her education in technology and enrolled herself in the M.Tech program in her city.

It was during that time in September 2018 that the opportunity to work with Virtual Field Support knocked at her doors. Expressing her gratitude to the organisation she says, “After joining VFS I started feeling confident about myself and my ideas. The team gave me a series of opportunities to show my potential. I was involved in improvising and strengthening the legal processes of the government systems.” She is proud of her work and gets the due appreciation from her government stakeholders and her team here.

Her learning journey, full of opportunities and challenges, started when she stepped out of Bhopal for the first time to attend orientation workshop in Piramal School of Leadership, Baggar, Rajasthan. She didn’t have to look back after that. “I got opportunities to visit the District Institute of Education Training Bhopal, took a workshop of education officials and lecturers,” tells Sudha. Facilitating workshops for people of the education department has boosted Sudha’s confidence in the last 17 months. A girl from a humble family with a background in technology now supports 52 District Education Officers daily. She thanks VFS for the training that has helped her in all her achievements in the field of education so far. She has become tech-savvy and supports the people in the education department to navigate through legal websites.

Appreciation helps people grow as much as constructive criticism.Here in VFS, appreciation from her stakeholders and colleagues has worked for Sudha. She is grateful for the lesson of empathy she is learning here. Empathy is not just in the documents, it binds the organisation together. While working with the officials, the Virtual Support team also gets the opportunity to interact with children. “I am glad to be interacting and working with the children as well, for their better future, for supporting them in their education journey. No child deserves to be deprived of education opportunities and better life chances. I love interacting with those children the most,” tells Sudha.

Sudha feels valued here; she is confident about her ideas now. She believes that she could not have gained the kind of exposure and confidence anywhere else in Bhopal. There are many Sudhas out there feeling empowered and sharing their life-changing experiences with Virtual Field Support in many states of India. Virtual Field Support teamemphasises on continuing the path of empowering women and supporting their growth in coming years.