Sarla Devi

As Interviewed by Arya Choudhary, March 17, 2016
"Forget about having a college, in fact, my village didn't even have a high school."
Sarla Devi

Introductory Profile: About Sarla Devi

My interviewee’s name is Sarla Devi. She was born into a Hindu family, with two older brothers. She was born in a very small village of India, approximately 200 km from India’s capital, New Delhi. Her ancestors’ occupation was farming. At the age of 20, she got married to an engineer and moved to the city of Haridwar. Now, she has two children, one girl and one boy, and four grandchildren.

Mrs. Devi is the mother of my mother’s school friend. My mom and her friend stay in touch, and that is where I learned about Mrs. Sarla Devi. Mrs. Devi’s native language is Hindi, which is what the interview was recorded in since she cannot speak English as fluently. The interview was translated by her son, who understands Hindi and can relate to what girls of his age had to do in order to get an excellent education, including his own sister.

Sarla Devi was born and raised in a time period when a woman and the woman’s rights were given less importance than a man and his rights. Mrs. Devi “fought” or basically went against society in order for her to gain, not the most proper, education. She has managed to accomplish what most of other women couldn’t do. Many mothers in India did not feel for it to be necessary to send their young daughters to school when they were at least six-years-old, or older. Instead, the girls were sent to fetch water from the wells for the entire family and work around the house until they got married. After marriage, women were expected to do household chores, which is why they were “preparing” for life after marriage.