It is very easy to dream but it takes a huge amount of hard work and determination to chase them. Many people give up on their dreams just because they do not have the capacity and patience to follow them, but there are a few who brave odds and succeed.
Anila Jyothi Reddy is one of them. Smitten by poverty, Jyothi’s father put her in an orphanage telling that she was motherless. She spent her entire childhood in the orphanage. But those little eyes and innocent mind had big dreams. Jyothi did not know what was going to come her way. all she knew was she was not going to give up.
Jyothi got married at a young age of 16 to a man who was 28-year-old. Marrying an older man was quite customary in those days and Jyothi did not like it. Her husband was a farmer with little education. For the first few years of her marriage, from 1985 to 1990, Jyothi toiled in the field, working hard, earning just Rs 5 per day.
She became a mother when she was just 17 and delivered her second baby the next year. Jyothi would do all the household chores, take care of both her daughters, and work on the field. Since her family was not financially stable, she had to run the house with meagre resources.
She did not even have enough money to buy medicines or toys for her children. Exasperated from her situation, Jyothi wanted to untangle herself from all the challenges.
She would work hard in the fields to make ends meet. Jyothi did not want her children to be illiterate and wanted them to get the best of education. Since she could not afford a good English medium school, she sent her children to Telugu medium school where the fees was Rs 25 per month that she would pay from her hard earned money.
Gradually, Jyothi began overcoming all the restrictions and started teaching people in the nearby farms. Eventually, she got recognition and also a government job, where she had to visit nearby villages in Warangal to conduct stitching classes for women. Jyothi started earning Rs 120 per month from her new job.
Jyothi wanted to study MA in English at Kakatiya University in Warangal, which could not happen. She always dreamt of a nameplate outside her house reading Dr Anila Jyothi Reddy. But that was a far-fetched dream.
It was when Jyothi met her NRI cousin who inspired her and told her that she can do big in life. That’s when she decided to go to America. Without wasting any time, Jyothi enrolled for computer software classes. She would commute to Hyderabad daily because her husband did not like the idea of her living away from home. She was greedy to go to the US to get a better life for her children.
Finally, Jyothi got the visa for the US with the help of her cousin and she headed to New Jersey. To sustain herself financially in the new country, she took up odd jobs. She worked as a sales girl, room service assistant, babysitter, gas station attendant, and software recruiter.
But she never gave up on her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. She would walk three miles to work as she did not have enough money to pay for traveling. Finally, she started her own company.
Today, Jyothi is the CEO of a $15 million dollar IT company Key Software Solutions based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has six houses in the US and two in India and has everything she had to compromise with as a child.
Even though Jyothi is settled in the US, she never fails to visit India on August 29 every year, which is her birthday. She visits orphanages and gifts the children with goodies, while remembering her past.
Beyond everything, Jyothi is one strong woman who had the urge to chase her dreams against all odds. After conquering all challenges, she has proved that nothing is impossible if you have the passion to do something. She is indeed a beacon of light to the youth in India.