Shakyajata lives most of the year in Manchester, UK. However, she spends her winters in India, helping young people training at the Aryaloka Computer Education project run by Aryaketu.
Shakyajata writes: Six young women trained at Aryaloka Computer Education’s third branch in Bhilgaon, Nagpur, recently completed their training. After a brief visit to their home villages, in a matter of days five of these Chhattisgarhi women came together again in the state capital of Raipur and formed a new community in rooms leased to them by Amrutratna, their mentor and friend, in his family home.
In less than a week, to my utter astonishment (felt quite faint, when I heard!) they had all found work, all in the same office, doing Photoshop work at a decent starting salary.
With impressive ingenuity they managed to communicate with me from their village: by phone using a mobile-to-landline translated voice message; and then by email, presumably from an internet café. It was a staggering message, heartwarming in its clarity and commitment. Working full time, they are spending their weekends communicating their Dhamma knowledge and sharing their computer skills with other mitras in Raipur and environs.
A sixth young woman came from the even more impoverished state of Bihar. With the support of Aryaketu’s family and other Aryaloka ex-trainees, she has coped with the awful grief of missing her grandmother’s death, and is now teaching at the Aryaloka Computer Education Institute herself.
The heroic qualities of these young women beggar belief. From poor families (some arriving with their clothes full of holes), with no prospect of career development in their home state, they have created a new life for themselves. This they have done through their own efforts, with support from Young Indian Futures, the Triratna sangha in India, and most of all, the example of Dr B.R. Ambedkar and his vision of the Dhamma Revolution.
Furthermore, they have opened a doorway for other young women facing a life of poverty, discrimination and drudgery.
Six more young women from Chhattisgarh villages have already been selected for the next Aryaloka computer training community. Big congratulations to them all.