Jilanba: A Second Chance Rekindles Educational Dreams

Once a school dropout, this 19-year-old from Gujarat now aspires to become a police officer

Jilanba Chauhan, a 19-year-old from Nikoda village, Gujarat, faced daunting challenges after her father’s demise four years ago in 2019. With her mother earning Rs 125/day, education became a distant dream, leading to Jilanba dropping out of school in Grade 10. Her elder brother had to stop his education as well.

Grieving for her father, Jilanba stopped doing all the things, like playing kabaddi and listening to music, that made her happy.

Opportunity came in the form of Pratham’s Second Chance program. Nikoda village had an active group of volunteers who ran the Hamara Gaon program – Pratham’s flagship initiative. When Pratham’s Second Chance team visited her village, they asked the volunteers of the Hamara Gaon program if there was any candidate in the community who could be supported with the Second Chance program. That is when they came in contact with Jilanba’s mother, who expressed her heartfelt desire to see Jilanba's dreams, particularly her ambition to become a police officer, come true. She was more than happy to let Jilanba resume her education through this second chance.

As Jilanba embraced education once again, her dreams of becoming a police officer were rekindled. Now an active class captain, she is thriving academically and encouraging other women in her village to join the program.

“Pratham has given me the chance to dream again. I believe I can secure good marks in the 10th final exam and continue my studies further,” says Jilanba.