Amazing Masarat Daud Takes On The World One Village At A Time

Susan notes: Masarat Daud is a Dubai-born Indian national dynamo who is changing the world with her energy, enthusiasm and educational initiatives. I've featured her before on AWR here: Masarat Daud: Educating The World in Eight Day (TEDxDubi Talk),  Amazing Young Women Making A Difference RIGHT NOW, and It Only Takes Eight Days To Change The World.

Today, February 4, 2010, is Daud's 27th birthday - what a super birthday gift she's received to be featured in the in an article (told in her own voice), about recent experiences organising a TEDx conference in her ancestral village. Below is an intro to the article, click on the link below it for the full piece.

masarat-daud.jpgOn a cold evening at Fatehpur Shekawati village in Rajasthan last week, I opened the rusting locks of my ancestral mansion. The first scenes that greeted me were the obvious ones: cobwebs, bats flying around and old, broken furniture lying upside down. The doors had been opened for the first time in decades and the small mansion was at least a century old.

My first feelings were quite surreal, I suppose. Here I was face to face with the ghosts of my ancestors. I could see my grandmother cooking, my dad playing around as a boy. It was a flood of memories. But soon, a new door opened for me. I realised that this small mansion could be a perfect classroom for my students. Finally I felt elation, that it would be my roots which would help me carry out my mission of educating the poor.

My father migrated to Dubai three decades ago and went into the construction business there. But he never allowed me to forget my roots even though I was born in Dubai. Dad is a passionate believer in education and that’s why he toiled the nights under street-lamps, studying, because electricity was unaffordable.

In Fatehpur Shekhawati, it is common for people to question the use of education today; 40 years ago, the idea of education would have been remote.

I have faced a lot of opposition because I am a Muslim and, apparently, women are not allowed to take up mass work. I also knew about the opposition my father faced when he enrolled me in The American University in Dubai. But I realise that it is in the backwardness of India that lies the possibilities of development.

Click here to read the full story
By Anthony Dias

Special to the

Related links:
Amazing Young Women Making A Difference RIGHT NOW
More About Masarat Daud on AWR
More About India on AWR