Design | Divya Ribeiro

Ayesha Sayed was in the middle of a bachelor’s degree programme when her family received a marriage proposal for her.

Sayed worried that her studies would be disrupted. Her education had already been halted a few years earlier, after graduating from Class 12, because her family faced financial constraints. She had then worked at a call centre to support her family – it was only four years later that she could sign up for a bachelor of arts programme in sociology, economics and history at a college in Udupi.

So, when the marriage proposal arrived, Sayed accepted only after extracting a promise from the groom’s family that she would be allowed to continue studying afterwards. She graduated in 2019.

She then decided to pursue her dream of studying law. From a young age, Sayed said, she had had a special interest in the Indian Constitution and had dreamt of one day practising law in the Supreme Court.

When she decided to apply for her law programme in 2021, she had to sit her in-laws down and convince them to allow her to take up the course. The nearest college was an hour away. By this time, she also had a young child, aged three, to look after, so the logistics were not going to be easy.

But she persuaded them, and found a neighbour to babysit the child. Her classes started in January 2022. Every morning, Sayed would leave her child in the neighbour’s care and take a bus to her new college. Despite the long travel hours, she managed to study and look after her child and her home.

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here