Women have always been a symbol of Shakti meaning strength. The times have gone when women were treated as weak. In today's time, women overcome all the difficulties and get ahead of the man. One such brave woman is Shakuntala Kale. Kale is a daughter of a labourer in a village in Ambegaontaluka and was married off at the age of 14.
"My father died when I was in Class IV. The situation at home was appalling. My mother worked as a labourer in the fields," she said.
Talking about how women's education was not awarded much importance in her family at that time, she said. "We didn't have a junior college in our village and there was no way I would have been sent outside to study. So I was married off at the age of 14."
She then moved into her husband's home and had two kids. Her husband and father-in-law became her support system. She completed her D.Ed. and then earned both Bachelor and a Master's degrees in the Marathi language through correspondence from Savitribai Phule Pune University.
She explained how there was no access to competitive exam books or television. "There was only one TV in the village. After finishing my teaching job every day, I would come home and complete my domestic chores. I would study after putting my children to sleep," she added.
Kale cleared MPSC Class II exam in 1993 and was appointed to the education department in Solapur. "In 1995, I cleared the exam for Class I officer and was appointed the head of women's education and extension department. The year I completed my PhD in the portrayal of women in rural novels was the international year for women," she said.
After working in several education departments, Kale was made the chairperson of the Maharashtra state board in September 2017.
Her journey is truly an inspiration. She has laid a great example for the younger generation to never give up. We wish her good luck in her future.