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PICTURE CAPTION: The Changemaker - Rita Shetiya, India

Rita was born in an ordinary middle-class family in a small village called Lohara in the Jalgaon district. She was the third sibling with one elder brother and elder sister. Her parents worked hard to fulfill their daily needs. Her father had a small shop in the village, but, it couldn’t cover their children's basic needs. Her mother ran tuition classes to support her family. The family was struggling financially, however, was glued to each other and happy together.

There was a major setback to the family when Rita's father died suddenly due to a heart attack, she was in 10th standard. Her family was devasted, and life became hopeless for the mother. Her mother understood giving up is not the option; she decided to overcome the situation and give her children a better life. The whole family migrated to Pune for good and started a new journey in a small rented room.

Rita's mother started her tuition batches again, and the whole family, mother, and three children were supported by a monthly income of 4,000 INR a month earned from the tuition batches. While studying, Rita took a part-time job to support her family. During these trying times, Rita failed in her 12th-grade exam. It was a huge setback for her, she was depressed and heartbroken. This failure stood up like a mountain in her journey. Her mother was her big motivation, as per her mother, failure is the first stepping stone to success, and she told Rita to keep going.

Rita was determined, she completed her post-graduation and started working at S.P. College, Pune, as a Lecturer. She never forgot the hardships she had gone through in her life, so, while working, she decided to help other lesser privileged people in society. She associated herself with many non-profit organizations where she actively participated in cloth collection drives, blood donation drives, helping others with medical needs, etc.

She earned the Lila Poonawalla fellowship and went to the UK as a peace ambassador from India. At Lila Poonawalla Foundation, not only she got a fellowship but also a new family, who helped her to sharpen her skills to succeed in personal and professional life.

After working with various social organizations for over a decade, she finally decided to start her NGO with a vision to help people stuck in medical emergencies and educated rural children. She formed "Ritaa India Foundation" in 2015. Since its inception, she has raised close to 4,00,000 INR to help people with medical emergencies. During Covid-19, she distributed over 1000 food grain packets, sanitizers to laborers, workers, cleaners, and over 500 medical kits for police personals.

She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in economics and also devoting her time to help the needy. She appeals to everyone to join her in her cause and help her spread more happiness in the world.

Posted BY: Admin On 08/06/2021 Under Category of: Stories