Deepali's Story: From Primary Education to Skills Training

At just eighteen years of age, Deepali Satardekar became a teacher in the Balwadi program. Her tenacity and hard work quickly advanced her to the position of Area Head. Today, at age 36, she heads Pratham’s Healthcare Training Center in Nasik.

After nearly two decades with Pratham, Deepali’s views about the organization and its impact are nuanced and insightful. “I came from primary education to skills training and the difference between them is huge. Young people need to be made to understand the harsh realities of life. Because, you see, we cannot fool them into gaining skills. The desire must come from them.”

Having explored the vocational field from end to end, Deepali has implemented many pilots, some that have failed, but others that have succeeded. She is very proud of the women she has trained and helped place at local hospitals, stressing, “They have excelled because of their desire to turn their lives around. They pursued an education beyond PACE (Pratham Arora Center for Education) and have become head nurses! They are now given the responsibility of handling intensive care units, which is a big deal.”

Reflecting on her own journey, Deepali hopes she can pass her experiences on to others. “My learning has been immense, and I want to lead by example. A leader should expose people to opportunities in order to create more leaders, not followers.”

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