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08 April 2009

With a father who sold produce in the village and a mother who stayed home with the kids, Kusum didn't have much glamour in her life. In fact, when she looked around at the other families in her village, she was pretty depressed: fathers working long hours for little pay, mothers taking care of the family, both powerless to change the course of their lives.

However, in 2000, Kusum and her family found a glimmer of hope - Pardada Pardadi Girls Vocational School. There, as she learned English, math and science, she also learned self-confidence, empowerment and the value of social and financial independence.

While at school, Kusum began to sketch, and the school manager quickly noticed her talent, encouraging her to take a fashion design course. Just like that, Kusum's interest was sparked, and she had a new dream to follow.

Kusum is now living a transformed life in a city almost 400 km away from her village. After completing her 12th standards, Kusum was accepted into a fashion design course at the Rai Foundation near Jaipur, with all expenses sponsored by PPES. There, her life has completely changed from what it was. Instead of spending her days in the field, Kusum now is learning the glamorous and exciting work of fashion design.

In just three years, when her courses are complete, Kusum hopes to continue her professional development by working in a renowned fashion house in Delhi. She also can't wait for the chance to give back to PPES by contributing to the marketing department as a designer.

Kusum's experience has been a wonderful one, and now her dream (well, one of many!) is that even more girls from her village will follow her lead to become socially and financially independent women.

For this and other success stories, please check out our website.