Shubhangi was 23, with a 13-month old son, when her husband Sanjay Jirapure, 27, committed suicide in 2006. Sanjay was a farmer from Kheda village of Karanja tehsil in Washim district. He had 9.5 acres of land, but did not get any yield that year. He had a farm loan of up to Rs 1 lakh, of which some amount was borrowed from a bank and some from private money lenders. Unable to deal with crop failure for the second year in a row, Sanjay consumed poison in November.
After the initial shock and pain, Shubhangi decided to take control of her life and pursue education. She had completed HSC before getting married in 2002 and decided to do Diploma in Education (DEd). “I left my in-laws’ house and came back to my parents’ home in Jawala village in Yavatmal district. I got admission at Devrao Patil Adhyapak Vidyalaya, Loni in Yavatmal district, under reserved category and as a widow (sub-category) based on my HSC results (65%),” she said.
Shubhangi also got a scholarship of Rs 12,000 a year for both the years of the two-year diploma. She then completed her six-month internship at Zilla Parishad Primary Marathi School in Jawala and started giving tuitions to students. “I was not sure whether I will be able to do all these things. My confidence was low. I had a son to look after. But with each passing day, I got confident,” she said.
In 2010, she got a job at Shri Gurudev Vidyamandir, Jawala. In the first year, her salary was Rs 3,000 and from the second year, she started earning Rs 6,000 a month. She was promoted as a permanent teacher after completing three years and her first salary was Rs 23,000 a month.
“It has been nine years now and I am not only working as a teacher but have also taken responsibility of my home,” she said. Her son Om, 13, who studies at an English medium school in Arni, said, “I want to become a software engineer.”
Shubhangi bought a flat admeasuring 650-sqm at Paropte Layout in Arni worth ₹19 lakh through a home loan. She completed her graduation in arts stream in 2013 and post-graduation last year. “Whatever I am today is because of education,” she said.