Radane and Mamita Dandsena
Pillars of Change

Radane and Mamita Dandsena

Radane and Mamita Dandsena

16-year-olds Radane Dandsena and Mamita Dandsena are the first two girls from Sargiguda village, Kalahandi district, Odisha to attend college. Their achievement did not come easy.

The villager’s belief system, deeply entrenched in gender-based stereotypes, consider marriage and domestic labour as a girl’s ultimate destiny, and aim to get girls in the community married early on in their lives. Thankfully for Radane and Mamita, CARE India’s Pathways project created a Reflect Circle in the village, offering a space for women farmers to discuss issues affecting the community, and work on solutions in a collective and organized manner. Lack of higher education among girls was identified as a major issue. The villagers were then counselled on the benefits of educating girls, eventually gaining the support of Radane and Mamita’s parents for enrolling them in college.

“Our parents did not allow us to study as we were expected to help in domestic chores. Things changed and today we are happy to attend college” – Radane and Mamita Dandsena