Reena, the daughter of a farmer and an alcohol seller, grew up seeing alcoholism and domestic violence at home. At the age of five, she was sent to stay with her grandparents. She fought with her grandparents for not sending her to school.
Her desire to study was fierce, so she went ahead and herself applied to Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya, a residential school for tribal girls in Jharkhand. At school, for the first time, she was exposed to chess, which she started playing with stones. In class 8th, she learned about Aahan’s Udaan Fellowship program and applied for it. She was the youngest Udaan Fellow at Aahan.
At Aahan, she was coached in chess, received career counselling, and coached in leadership skills. She left the residential school after 10th and became the first girl from her village to pass the intermediate exams with science and mathematics and that also in the first division.
Reena continues with higher studies, teaching other girls to play chess and helping them in their studies. She aspires to be a civil servant in future.
Aahan Foundation for Social Change is a registered NGO under Sec. 25
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