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In a state like Chhattisgarh, Birhor tribes are scattered and considered the most backward group that still consider girl education as a social taboo. Birhor tribal groups are also found in the districts of Bilaspur, Raigarh, Sarguja, Jashpur, Raigarh, Korba state.
Kumari Nirmala Bai choose a path different than all her successor, she is from Raipur secured 58% in Class 12 board Examination. She became the first girl in a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) to pass the examination. The courage and strength of Nirmala was highly appreciated by everyone. Despite living in poverty and having no support from her parents, she didn’t give up. Her father was Class V pass and since then he is working in a farm as daily wage labourer, her mother is illiterate housewife. She is eldest among the four siblings inhabiting a remote tribal hamlet Jhargaon about 350 km north east of Raipur.
Nirmala said that it was her dream to pursue her pass certificate in Class 12. She rejected all the proposals of marriage offered by parents and members of community. Besides, all the chaos she continued to attend school classes. She further said, “Now I wish to continue my college education and become teacher to guide the community and particularly help the girls in the field of education.”
Jageshwar Ram, torch bearer and senior leader of Birhor community for the past over two decades, said that girls in the community are often married at an early age and they rarely get enrolled in schools owing to deep rooted socio culture barriers. He then appreciated Nirmala for her courageous act. Santosh Kumar appreciated her by telling that she has become a role model for other girls in her community. District administration has also given the access to post matric hostel to Nirmala to pursue school education.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel gifted her laptop and also given a cash of Rs 1 Lakh as a present of appreciation. He exclaimed,” Nirmala is the inspiration for many girls in Birhor Tribal community”
Image Source: Times Of India