17 year old Ranu lives in a village in Sonipat district of Haryana. Her village is just a few hours away from Delhi and has many facilities. There are multiple secondary and senior secondary schools in the village, both government and private, and even a college.

Ranu is studying in Std XII, arts stream in a private school. She wakes up at 4 every morning and finishes household chores before leaving for school at 7.30. After she comes back, she goes to the family farm for a couple of hours, where she helps with taking care of the family’s two buffalos. Ranu excitedly tells us that she can only take care of giving them food and water because she doesn’t know how to milk the buffalos yet, but will be learning it from her mother soon.

Like many girls her age, Ranu wants to become a teacher. She knows that she has to go to a B.Ed. college for that. Her reasons are simple: the profession allows women to have more time for their families. And in the society that she lives in, teaching is probably the only profession that her parents and future in-laws won’t object to.

She will have to go outside her village to do a B.Ed. and she’s worried about her safety. The only way she can do so is if another girl from her village goes to the college with her.

By Mitali Agrawal