Every month the Rukmini Foundation scholars eagerly wait for the Didi Program. The Didi Program is used as a mean to increase the skills and confidence of scholars by giving them the chance to connect with successful female role models. The June Didi Program consisted of various activities that would further strengthen the scholars’ confidence and skill. This month our own graduates Sushmita Sunar and Sujata KC were invited as the role models. It is the first time ever that our own scholars were leading the monthly program – it’s a milestone for both the Rukmini Foundation and its scholars.


Former scholars and now current mentors

The monthly program consisted of all the Rukmini Scholars and other members gathered at Shikharapur Community School. In total, there were thirty one participants this includes graduated scholars (Rabina Shrestha,Pooja Balami, Kritika Bista, Sarswoti KC, Deepika Balami) and Didis  (Prakriti, Sabina, Pramila and Usha).


Rukmini Didis (left to right) – Usha, Rabina, Prakriti, Pramila, Pooja, Sushmita, and Sabina

The program was initiated by the singing of an original song written by Rukmini Foundation’s Kedarnath Acharya. The song helped warmly welcome the participants. Next, the girls immersed themselves into fun skill building games. The game this month focused on attention. In this session, the girls were asked to play charades with a twist. Each girl received instructions to convey a leader through gesture communication to another scholar who must then unveil gestures to identify the leader.


Games are used to create interaction, but also to teach some valuable skills like attentiveness and non-verbal communication

The idea of the game was to boost the scholar’s attention through nonverbal communication while addressing the importance of attentiveness as well as good communication The session helped to the scholars ease into this month’s Didi Program by creating an entertaining and relaxed environment.

Singing the Song of Ruku

Singing the Rukmini “anthem”

Next, the scholars took the time to reflect on their visit to the Early Childhood Development Center. It was first time all scholars were able to come together and interact with each other. The girls felt inspired after touring the house because it catered the needs of individuals in all circumstances. However, it was Puspa Didi who surprised the girls the most.  Upon interacting with Puspa Didi a the Butterfly House, the girls were in awe due to the sheer size of Puspa Didi’s work in comparison to her age. Puspa Didi shared about her experience, the girls learned about Puspa didi’s hardships and how to seize an opportunity much like she did.  She seemed to have created a butterfly effect through her work because her patience and confidence in her work both inspired and help a lot of people especially the girls.


Pooja Balami said that the butterfly house truly lives up to its name because it truly looks like a butterfly. According to Pooja, the most interesting part of the butterfly house is that it unites people – it does not tolerate discrimination. It has been made thinking of every human being, which became evident when we saw the path made specifically for the blind people. The justly house accommodates people of all kinds.

Sukrira K.C. and Bimala Bisunke said that ”when they interacted with Puspa Didi, they learned the importance of respect. They also felt that everyone should be truly responsible towards the duty and path they choose. [Additionally], they felt that it was their first priority was education as students.”

Group Photos

Towards the end of the trip, the scholars and Didi’s showed of their talents with phenomenal dances. It was a great bonding moment for both Didi’s and scholars. The Didi’s were delighted to see scholars break out of their shells and make the effort to talk to new people. All in all, it was a very successful program. It was the first time our graduates Susmita Sunar and Sujata K.C. conducted this program. Our graduates stepping towards the leadership makes this session even more fruitful. It not only helped graduates to gain additional leadership skills, but also helped our current girls to feel inspired and establish sense of belonging towards Rukmini.

About Bhakti Patel

Hello! My name is Bhakti and I’m a rising sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying Finance and Supply Chain Management. I am very honored to be given the opportunity to work with Rukmini because I am extremely interested advocating and reducing the educational gap between South Asian men and women. Over the course of my college career, I will be supporting Rukmini’s various community events, as well as raising awareness of South Asian women’s cultural issues within the Pitt campus. I hope that my work here helps inspire more people to join the cause to make the cultural and educational equality envisioned by the founders of Rukmini into a reality.
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