Pilelo-Ho!
Breaking Barriers:Jolly Dass, Magic Bus community youth leader, shares her journey
Breaking Barriers:Jolly Dass, Magic Bus community youth leader, shares her journey

I am Jolly. I am 20 year old and study Hindi literature at the Jesus and Mary College in Delhi University.

This is where I live. You must not have heard of Sant Nagar in Delhi, have you? We moved in to the unauthorised settlement in 1986 in the search of a livelihood. After a lot of searching, my father joined as a cook at the a Pastor’s college with just Rs 3000 a month.

Rs 3000 (30 pounds, 48 dollars) between six people!It wasn't an easy life till my brother Rocky got a job as the youth mentor in Magic Bus.

This is my brother, Rocky. He inspired me to join Magic Bus. Actually, my left eye is dysfunctional since birth so I was sceptical whether I could go any further in sports. He encouraged me. 'It doesn't matter', he said, 'You just need to believe that in yourself.' Those words never left me in all these years.

Little did I anticipate what I was signing up for! I was a shy kid, afraid of making friends. Magic Bus changed it all. Through the journey, I came to know that I had the makings of a leader. I also understood that education is all I need to succeed in life.

When I was selected by the Equal Opportunities Cell of my college to participate in a 10-day-long conference at the King’s College, London, I was elated. The conference was on how to make education systems inclusive - something that I have felt all along in my life.In London, I saw myself speaking to a crowd for the first time, all nervousness forgotten.

I am a community youth leader with Magic Bus, now. I think all of us who live in dire poverty, or with disabilities have a possibility of discovering our own potentials, our own dreams. And that magical moment comes, when you've a mentor around - a mentor who believes in you and encourages you to believe in yourself.

I believe girls can make a difference to themselves and the world around if they are given the chance to get educated.

Want to hear from us every month? Sign up for our newsletter! We promise not to spam.

Want to make a difference in the life of a child? Donate.

Back