#ItsHerTurn: A reason to be thankful

#ItsHerTurn: A reason to be thankful

Suma’s Story Inspires a Teenager to Count Her Blessings

Thanksgiving is more than just the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing; it is a time to give thanks and express gratitude for the elements that bring joy to life. Not only is it a time to count your blessings, but it is also a day set aside for service and giving back to the community, country and world. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” tying in perfectly to the themes of Thanksgiving, but more than that, the Sahasra Deepika Foundation. When presented with the lack of opportunities for girls in India to be educated, the Sahasra Deepika Foundation stepped up to become the much-needed change. In a world where girls are not as valued as they should be, Sahasra Deepika has found a way to ensure that they not only get an education, but also are cared for, supported, and given a safe haven to call home. They have given each and every girl who walks through their doors a blessing to count and something to be thankful for.

A change being made in the world is a result of being inspired. This inspiration can come from anywhere, or anything–from a problem that needs to be fixed to a story that must be shared. Suma’s Story: It’s Her Turn is an inspiration. It was Suma’s resilience that leapt off the screen and inspired me. Despite the bad cards she was dealt, Suma has turned her life around and become a role model, not only for other girls at Sahasra Deepika, but for people like me, living more than eight thousand miles away, listening to her brave words and learning about her journey. For me specifically, her story has given me a sense of hope that a day will come when girls are all treated with respect and educated, as they should be. She has provided me with the courage to take the opportunities given to me and make the most of them to reach my goals. A blessing that I will count this Thanksgiving is that I had the chance to listen to Suma’s story, allowing me to learn such valuable and empowering lessons from her.

The film’s title includes the words “It’s Her Turn.” #ItsHerTurn is a phrase conveying that now is the time to empower young girls to take a stand and lead the future. It’s her turn to go and become part of the change, it’s her turn to tell her story, and it’s her turn to become a leader in society. The words, “It’s her turn,” have instilled a sense of motivation inside of me to become a part of the cause that gives these girls the chance to thrive and to create their own futures. I believe that when given the opportunity, girls at Sahasra Deepika can and will make a difference, therefore becoming the change that they wish to see in the world.

My name is Neha Mukherjee and I am 15 years old and in 10th grade at the Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania. I was born and raised in the United States, but like to keep strong ties with my Indian heritage. I have a passion for community service, especially in regard to education, and was excited to learn about the Sahasra Deepika Foundation and its mission.