We do surrender at those breaking points where there is hardly any chance to move ahead. Still continuous persistence cannot stop a human being from becoming what he/she wants to achieve in life. This has been proved by Mrs. Jyothi Reddy with her amazing journey from a field laborer to the CEO of Key Software Solutions in the US. She carries a great vision to change the lives of many women in rural India.
Before we take you to the success story of hers, we should travel in the time when she was struggling to make something big. Jyothi was the second of five siblings of a poor family. Having lost her mother early in life, she was put in an orphanage so that she could get some education. She passed Class X in first division but extreme poverty forced her to discontinue her studies and work in the fields.
At 16, she was forcibly married off to a man who was 10 years elder than her, and in the next two years she became the mother of two children. Destitute poverty made her restless and she searched for various jobs. After having 2 children, the situation became even worse as she had to work in the fields for a daily wage of Rs. 5 to take care of her children. These situations made her even stronger to stand and fight for life. In 1988, she joined as adult education teacher at a remuneration of Rs 120 a month. “In those days, Rs 120 was a lot of money for me. I could at least buy fruit and milk for my children. Next, I worked as a National Service Volunteer for Rs 200 a month,” she said. But the money she was making was not sufficient to run the family. She used to stitch petticoats at night to make more money. Despite her hsband’s disapproval she moved out of the village Mailaran with her children and went to Hanamkonda town. She learned typewriting and joined a craft course. Apart from her bad financial situation, she also had to fight with family and society to do what she wanted to do. She obtained the degree of BA from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University in 1994 and studied for a postgraduate degree from the Kakatiya University on weekends and obtained it in 1997. This made her get a special teacher job for a salary of Rs. 398 per month. She used to travel for two hours to reach her school. She utilized this time to sell sarees to her co-passengers which helped in gaining some extra income. Her struggle for life made her become conscious about the time and it showed her the ways to utilize the time available.
As per the statement published in The Times Of India, she said that she secured a job as the librarian at Janasikshana Nilayam and joined an open school where she would go every Sunday to continue with the studies.
“In 1992, I got an 18-month job as a special teacher at Ameenpet, 70 km from Warangal. The journey would cost me more than my salary. I used to sell sarees in the train every day to earn the extra money. Finally I got a regular job in 1994 at a monthly salary of Rs 2,750. I worked as mandal girl child development officer and would inspect the schools,” she said.
When Jyothi saw her cousin, who had come down from the US to Warangal in 98, she wondered about the difference in their lifestyles and decided to learn software courses like them in order to make better fortunes in the US. She went to US by leaving her two daughters in a missionary hostel.
“My next step was to learn software from VCL Computers in Hyderabad. I took a long leave from the office, got my passport and H1 visa ready and in 2000 I went to the US, where my husband’s cousin was. I took a job in a shop earning $60 for a 12-hour job and stayed as a paying guest with a Gujarati family,” she said.
Entry Into The World Of Dreams
Her initial start in the US was a period marked with struggles. She had to work in a gas station, work as a baby sitter, load/unload goods and work at a video shop for her survival. She then joined a company called CS America as a recruiter with an aid of a close relative. Later she got another offer from a different company, but it did not stay and she had to go back to babysitting and gas station for survival. That was the beginning of her entrepreneurial dreams.
“Then a contact in the US asked me to join as a software recruiter. Though I wasn’t fluent in English then, I overcame all challenges and gradually started my own company,” she said.
She wanted to start her own business and was looking for the suitable line of business to start.
With her children settled in the US, she has planned to start her dream project which will provide placement to more than 1000 youths and to start a school from LKG to PG. She makes a point on her birthday to come to India and celebrate it in orphanages in Warangal. She also sponsors a mentally challenged kids’ home where there are 220 children. In this direction, she had joined hands with other like-minded NGOs Prajadharana Welfare Society, MV Foundation and Child Rights Advocacy Forum (CRAF) and formed a Pressure Group Force for Orphan Rights and Community Empowerment (FORCE).
Her perseverance will continue to linger for years to come and will act as the guiding light for not only women but anyone who wants to big despite poverty. From the fields of Warangal, where she used to earn Rs 5 per day, to becoming the CEO of a software company in the US, it has been a long journey for D Anila Jyothi Reddy
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