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"Kalpana Saroj’s life" An English Story in Short

"Kalpana Saroj’s life" An English Story in Short

learning English by Story


Kalpana Saroj’s life is a classic rags-to-riches story. Kalpana was not just born poor. She was born into a Dalit family. Dalits, also known as untouchables, are at the bottom of society according to the traditional Indian caste system.
 
Kalpana says that girls were seen as a burden on their families. And educating girls was seen as a waste. The norm at the time was for Dalit girls to get married young. Her father buckled under the pressure of the community and took her out of school in the 7th grade. He then married her off to a 22-year-old man. Kalpana was just 12 years old.
 
Her in-laws forbade her from writing home, and they had no telephone. She felt completely alone. If the house wasn’t clean enough or if the food was burnt or too salty, she was beaten. She was regularly kicked, punched and emotionally abused.
 
Six months after her marriage, her father came to visit. He was shocked to find her starved with ripped clothes and tangled hair. Her husband’s brother told him “See what she’s like? If she doesn’t shape up, we’ll strip her and hang her from a tree.”
 
Her father was horrified and said he would take her home, but her new family refused. They said that Kalpana was theirs. Kalpana’s father returned the next day and took her home.
 
One day, while her aunt was cooking dinner, Kalpana went into another room and drank three bottles of rat poison. Her aunt found her frothing at the mouth and screamed. Kalpana fell into a coma but eventually recovered.
 
 Kalpana moved to Mumbai where she got a job at a factory.  She was unable to work the sewing machines, so she picked lint off the fabric. She was paid just 15 cents a day, but she was ambitious. While her co-workers went to lunch, she practised on the sewing machines. After some time she was promoted to a tailor making $5 a day. “It was the first happiness in 15 years,” she said: “I’ve earned millions. But that initial $5 was the most satisfying.”
 
Kalpana saved her money and eventually was ready to start her own business. Together with some other poor, but ambitious women, she got a business loan from the government. They opened a furniture business, and it thrived. Kalpana started to make a name for herself as a savvy businesswoman.
 
Kalpana next invested her money into real estate and development. Kalpana moved from real estate to invest in a sugar company and finally, her most audacious deal, buying Kalpani Tubes. It was a company with 24 million dollars of debt and mired in lawsuits. She said, “Only a mad person would sink 116 billion rupees in a company with no profit in sight, and that person is me.” Kalpana’s Midas touch turned the company around, and it’s now worth over 100 million dollars.
 
Kalpana isn’t in it just for herself. She takes pride in giving back to her community. She has returned to her village and set up schools and given jobs to abused women. And she has created an NGO teaching poor people how to get business loans. She says: “Ivy League degrees and fancy MBAs are not what makes an entrepreneur. Grit, perseverance, and a superhuman ability to have faith in yourself do.”

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