Laxmi Rani Majhi. Telegraph picture
Ranchi, May 19: Young archer Laxmi Rani Majhi is all set to be featured on Unicef calendar this year.
The Santhal girl from Bagula village near Ghatshila in East Singhbhum has already been selected by United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (Ungei) as one of the 15 “girl stars” across the country who made a difference with determination and education.
According to an Ungei brochure, Laxmi, 18, said: “Education has made me what I am today. It was only because I went to school that I got a chance to be selected to train as an archer. Now, I compete internationally and travel the world — school gave me this, I thank my parents for sending me to school.”
Laxmi’s first chance to become an archer came when selectors of Tata Archery Academy visited the government school where she was studying. Laxmi was later inducted as a cadet with the academy.
The teenager — selected the only “star war” out of three “girl stars” from the state — would feature on the calendars and also participate in multimedia projects to inspire girls, especially dropouts.
Ungei, which works under Unicef, carried out a survey in rural areas of Jharkhand and spotted Laxmi, Jyoti Rose Tirkey from Ranchi and Suryamani Bhagat from Kotari village in Ranchi as “girl stars”.
While Jyoti is a newsreader, radio presenter & folk singer, Suryamani is an environmental activist making changes to the society with sheer grit even coming from poor background.
“The girl stars have set up an example as to how they changed their lives and also encouraged other girls to join school,” said a Unicef official.
Laxmi’s struggle was also mentioned in one of the 15 books — each of the book describes the journey of each girl star — issued by the ministry of education.
“If one works with will and determination, she can reach to great heights,” said Laxmi.