Anita Khushwaha, Beekeeper
‘I ride a bicycle to go to college, I learned how to ride a motorcycle too – in secret. I am the first woman beekeeper in my state. I always do what I want and what makes me happy, and when no one helps me I find my own way. I have learned that it is never easy for a girl to do something new, people say bad things about her. A lot of people, including my own family, were upset with me at first, but today because I am successful, they respect me, they listen to me. I like beekeeping; I can run a business, earn money and study at the same time. I like being happy, if I did not go to school I would not be happy.’
Anita Khushwaha is a beekeeper in Bochaha village, Muzzafarpur district, Bihar.
When Anita was young her parents did not want her to go to school, they asked Anita to look after the goats instead of going to school.
But then one day, Anita snuck into school and spent the day there unnoticed – she loved school so much that she convinced her parents to let her stay in school.
Anita’s father agreed to let her study until Grade 5 – but Anita wanted to study further, so she began to teach other children what she knew and earned enough money from her teaching to pay for her school books and fees.
Soon Anita knew she had to do something more – she wanted to go to college – but she needed to find a way to fund her education.
Men in Anita’s village had always kept bees and made honey. Anita was the first young woman to give bee keeping a try – she saved enough money from teaching other children to buy two queen bees and begin her bee-keeping business.
Today, Anita has over 100 boxes of bees; she makes her own honey, goes to college on her bicycle and is still only 17 years old.