Mrs. Jyoti Reddy proved that women in fact have more strength, resilience and courage than men. This women’s day lets celebrate the pride of being a woman. The old stereotypes, although faded slightly, a lot of it still exists but these sort of stories can break them further.

She travelled from being a farm labourer to running her own firm in the US.

Jyothi was the second child among the five and due to her family’s financial situation, she was admitted into a welfare orphanage. To get the admission, she had to become a motherless child. It was a heart breaking situation for Jyothi as she could not see her mother during the days when she was in the orphanage. There was nobody to share her happiness and sorrow. Instead of getting down with the situation, Jyothi developed a strong will to make her future bright. She promised herself to work towards creating a better life for her. She learned the way of dealing with life in a hard and practical manner. The hardship taught her the value of life and made her think beyond the situation.

She attended a government school while at the orphanage and she also took vocational course while residing in the superintendent’s house. Jyothi used to help her superintendent with their household work. Jyothi had to marry at 16 to her cousin, instead of working on to make her dreams come true. After having 2 children, the situation became even worse as she had to work in the fields for a daily wage of Rs. 5 to take care of her children. These situations made her even stronger to stand and fight for life.

Then came an opportunity in the form of NYK (Nehru Yuva Kendra), a Central Government scheme which sought to create awareness among the youth. She took the opportunity and became a NYK Volunteer and later started teaching. But the money she was making was not sufficient to run the family. She used to stitch petticoats at night to make more money. Apart from her bad financial situation, she also had to fight with family and society to do what she wanted to do. She studied and obtained a BA in 1994 and studied for a postgraduate degree and obtained it in 1997. This made her get a higher pay as a teacher. She used to travel for two hours to reach her school.

She then got an opportunity to go to US with her relative. She had to work in a gas station, work as a baby sitter, load/unload goods and work at a video shop for her survival. She then joined a company called CS America as a recruiter with an aid of a close relative. Later she got another offer from a different company, but it did not stay and she had to go back to babysitting and gas station for survival. That was the beginning of her entrepreneurial dreams. She wanted to start her own business and was looking for the suitable line of business to start. When she visited Mexico, she realised that she could start a consulting company as she was familiar with the paperwork involved with the Visa Processing. With her savings of $40000, she opened an office in Phoenix in 2001. She has been successfully running her company KEYSS since then. Her two daughters moved to US and completed their education in the American schools.

Women are portrayed to be weak and inferior to men. Such stories of courage and perseverance break these hideous stereotypes further. We salute women for having the courage to carry out all sorts of jobs without complaining, for loving endlessly and also portray the same strength or sometimes even more strength than men.