Raised above humiliation and challenges, a teacher who defied all odds: Dr. Radha Balmiki

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Women have been oppressed since time immemorial. They have been considered powerless and beings who can not have their opinion. But if a woman recognises her self worth and power, she becomes unstoppable.  One such name is Dr. Radha Balmiki. She is a teacher, poet, writer and social worker. With her grit, hard work and determination she has proved that a woman can do whatever she is willing to do. There is nothing a woman can not do. 
Dr. Radha Balmiki was born on 12 August, 1964 in Uttarakhand, India. She is the eldest child of Shri. Siyaram Balmiki and Smt. Meenu Devi Ji. She has been a girl of sharp intellect since childhood. She topped her class 5 examination in the district. But the daughter of a distinguished influential advocate of high caste of the district also appeared in the examination and was declared first in the examination by deducting marks of Radha. 
For this Radha’s headmistress fought a lot with the administrators. Even after taking admission in the girl’s Inter College in class 6, caste discrimination started. She was always made to sit at the back of the class. Even without any mistakes in the notebook, she was beaten up. She was not given Science stream in Class 9. Even after taking the English subject in art class, she was harassed by her English teacher. It created a Phobia of English in her mind which has been hard to overcome still today. She was humiliated again and again. 
Dr. Radha completed her higher education from Kumaon University’s Government Postgraduate College, Pithoragarh in 1983. There she got an opportunity to enhance her talent as she got the support of all the teachers and students. She participated in sports, national service scheme, music, acting, literary writing, debate, speech etc. every year she earned various prizes for her excellent performance. 
In 1984, she won the student union election against 7 students by bringing her hidden leadership potential in front of everyone and ensured the participation of girl students in student politics in the colleges and universities of the entire Kumaon division. This moment was the first unforgettable and exciting moment of Radha’s life which became history for Kumaon University, Uttarakhand.
After completing her MA and B. Ed in Political Science, Dr. Radha left the college and gave her knowledge and services for the society. She formed a social and cultural organization along with her colleagues and propagated the culture of Uttarakhand by participating with her team in National Integration Camps and Youth Festivals in different parts of the country. In 1989, she was nominated as the councilor of the Nagar Palika Parishad, Pithoragarh. From there she learned to fulfill her responsibilities better in the field of social service. Through the Legal Aid Committee Pithoragarh, she did the work of resolving many disputes through conciliation agreements in Lok Adalats. She has worked for various social causes such as education, de-addiction, women empowerment, social harmony, upliftment of weaker sections, blood donation, service to the elderly and patients, tree plantation, environmental protection, etc which she continues to do till date.
Her life was full of struggles and challenges. Under family pressure, she was married to a man who worked in the army. Her married life was not easy. Her husband was addicted to alcohol. After many hardships, she finally got a divorce.  In 2006, Dr. Radha, along with some enlightened social workers, formed an organization named Srijan Cultural Committee in Pantnagar and again engaged herself in social service. Dr. Radha has saved many lives by raising awareness regarding domestic violence and addictions. 
She has been honoured with many national and international awards for her outstanding work. She has also been awarded with the International Mother Teresa Award. She has made the entire nation proud and has also set a precedent. She has been working relentlessly to serve the society. As a writer she has written three books, many poems and articles which raise awareness regarding many social problems. Shehas raised above all her struggles and has become a role model and is a source of inspiration for all the women. 

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