Thursday, 21 May 2020

OYA's Belie-chiever - Ashrin Sheikh's Story in her words..

My name is Ashrin Sheikh.  I am 27 years old and I am OYA's Belie-chiever.  I want to express my heartfelt thanks to OYA and Raheen Didi.  Because of their support and motivation, I am able to write my story today and be a reason to motivate everyone.  Lots of love to OYA from me and my family.  

I was seven when my mother passed away. We were three sisters who no one was ready to care for.  But my maternal grandmother lovingly took the responsibility for handling all three of us.  She wanted to educate us, but she did not have enough means to send us to schools.  Due to which she put us in an NGO named Salaam Balak Trust, from where I completed my education till 10th Grade. However,  difficulties didn't seem to leave our side. While I was studying for the 10th Grade,  my grandmother was detected with Cancer. We could see this time through due to the timely help by Salaam Baalak Trust and Kalyani Didi for our education and treatment for our granny. I will always be grateful to her for that. 

After passing my 10th Grade,  Asha Sadan helped me through my further studies and became my home during that period. It was then,  that I gained plenty of opportunities to grow and learned various life-skills like cooking,  tailoring, various other skills, and chores. Raheen Didi of OYA visited us at Asha Sadan and was a great emotional support. She also noticed my ability to express through art and always kept providing me with great platforms to do so. Once,  during an Art-Based Therapeutic activity,  we were to draw out how we felt about our journey of emotional well- being with the OYA organization. And my expression of love for OYA then on that humble piece of paper became OYA's Logo. Raheen Didi's faith in my artistic skills has helped me believe in my abilities and pursue them further. 

Although, Asha Sadan, Jaya Didi and OYA helped me grow and were very supportive, being physically distant from my sisters and my grandmother lead me to feel a sense of emptiness that I could only fill on being united with them again. Hence, I made the decision to step out during my 14th grade, rented a place where we sisters and our grandmother could live together under one roof, and look after each other. Being together with my family filled my heart with happiness again. But, the financial challenges we faced to see this dream come true required me to take up jobs in Cafes while I was still trying to complete my education. It became very challenging to manage a job, education, and household responsibilities altogether at that tender age, fortunately, I completed my graduation. 

Even, while I had moved out of Asha Sadan where I had come in touch with OYA, Raheen Didi stayed in touch with me and continued to be my emotional support and source of encouragement. She saw that my art had never left me as I loved taking the responsibility of designing menus and boards for the cafes I worked at. She helped me do so in the field I cherished so much. She was instrumental in helping me get admission at IES College for a course in Interior Designing and in finding donors to help me pay my fees. 

Today, I am happily married. My husband is in the field of Event/Party Organising.  I am about to complete my course in interior Designing and looking forward to a long and happy married life where my husband is not only my partner for life but also a partner in work as I help him with decorations for events/ parties. After juggling through all the struggles,  today I could finally see all my dreams come through and it could have never been possible without Salam Balak, Asha Sadan and  OYA's help and support. I am very grateful to everyone in my life.  I wish OYA Heartiest Congratulations for completing 10 beautiful years of service to mankind and I wish for OYA to complete 100 years of bringing hope in the lives of many.

(*drawings in this post are done by Ashrin S)


  1. Very inspiring story ashrin ...god bless you and all the very best for your future ❤️... Lots of love

  2. You are an inspiration to many.
    God bless you always and good luck for your future endeavours

  3. Wonderful Ashrin๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘. Very Happy to see the progress you have made. Wish you Lots of Happiness and success through you creative skills.

  4. I wish u good luck for your future Ashrin..i proud of u...keep it up and keep learning...

  5. Highly Inspiring... Raheen, its feels proud to have known you and shared some times of laughter together. You being a good human, you are a boon to the society.. Wish you and OYA good luck...

    1. Thank your much Meghna.. means a lot.. I am just doing my bit.. yes I remember the university days too..
      Loads of love to u