Rashmi Misra grew up in a military family, so she moved around, attending several schools, but completed her schooling in Delhi, India. She went to Lady Sri Ram College and studied German and public relations. Concurrently, she also studied Odissi dance, an ancient form of Indian classical dance that came originally from Hindu temples.
As a young woman, she was employed as a member of the ground staff by Lufthansa Airlines. In 1985, she began teaching a class for five girls at her home, which was then on the campus of IIT Delhi; this was the beginning of what would become VIDYA. As she describes it,
“…I realized that the children were thirsty to learn, but the opportunities and means were missing. I went to slums to find children and educate them… Educating the underprivileged kept me motivated.”
After she married, she emigrated to the United States. She built the small education project she had started into VIDYA, a major nonprofit that employs over 300 people and has made a difference to more than 220,000 families in the three decades since then. The NGO works with people in the extremely disadvantaged neighborhoods of Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai, supplying schools as well as remedial education; literacy, computer, and other skills training; and microfinance and other support on behalf of social entrepreneurship. Much of VIDYA’s work still focuses on helping children, as well as women entrepreneurs; but supporting women and children transforms entire communities. Misra found – and inspired – many volunteers and carried out fundraising over the years to sustain VIDYA’s efforts. Visit their web page to learn more about the fruits of her work – and never doubt that one woman who cares can make a difference: http://vidya-india.org/
This excerpt is from The Book of Awesome Women by Becca Anderson.
Original post here.