About Mrs. Jyoti Tanna
Mrs. Jyoti Tanna
Chairperson/ Founder & Trustee
(Each One Teach One Charitable Foundation)
Date of Birth: 13-01-1938
Education: Passed Matric Examination in 1955
Work Experience: 1) Began career in Chicago Radio, 2) Worked for 35 years in Mazgaon Docks
Social Service: Founded Each One Teach One Charitable Foundation in 1983. Governing Council member of Hunger Project(India) from 1992-1999
My father was very successful when we used to live in Pakistan, but after partition, we left everything behind and ran away to India. We used to stay on the streets - 9 siblings and our parents with very little food. I was the youngest one, so my education was heavily compromised - I wasn't allowed to study because it was more important to educate my brothers. As a child, I couldn't understand why and I grew up with a lot of resentment. When we finally got a house, the roof used to leak so when my father was sleeping, I would have to hold an umbrella over his head the whole night - I was always angry because I felt so rejected.
One of my older sisters got a job as a teacher at a school nearby and because of that I was allowed to attend at a much lower price. I was desperate to prove to my family that being a girl had nothing to do with capability, so in my 10th I got 75% which was the highest score! But again, life took a different turn as my father passed away and there was no money for my college. But instead of sitting at home, I fought with my mother to allow me to work and I finally got a job as a telephone operator at Chicago Radio where I earned 100 Rupees a month!
While working, I became friends with a Gujarati boy who I used to confide in about everything. We would meet behind the Taj and spend time together...purely as friends. When I turned 23, my mother said she had found a great Sindhi boy for me to marryâ€¦but I wasnâ€™t ready. She had heard of my friend from work and was livid that I could have a friend who was a boy! As she kept pressurizing me, I went to work and told my friend that I had to get married and we would have to stop meeting. I left, got onto the bus and started crying...but I couldn't understand why. When my stop came and I got off, there he was waiting in a cab. He got out, held my hand and said, 'you can't marry him, you can only marry me' and then he just turned around and left! Well, that was my proposal and it was always a yes... how could I not marry my best friend? We faced a lot of resistance from both our families and my mother didnâ€™t even sit through my wedding... but after 52 years let me tell you that it was the best decision of my life!
I was respected as a woman, allowed to work and given equal rights. In 1983, I was standing at my balcony one day when I saw 5 children in school uniforms sitting on the footpath and playing cards. I kept seeing them every day, when I went upto them and asked them why they weren't at school. They said, 'we have shabby uniforms so the teacher beats us and doesn't allow us to sit.' My childhood memories came rushing back to me, so immediately I bought them uniforms and paid their fees, but within a week 2 of those children ran away again. I still focused on those 3 and would take home cooked food for them everyday... when someone suggested starting a Trust. With the 900 Rupees I had saved over the years, I started a Trust and soon people started volunteering with me, visiting slums where children weren't studying and enrolled them with us.
Starting with 5 children in 1983, we have now adopted several municipal schools & all its children under our wings; we not only provide quality education but also provide them with nourishing meals which is crucial for their growth
Its been 36 years I am pleased to acknowledge the success of Each One Teach One & the beautiful souls that we have touched. We are proud to enrich the lives of more than 50,000 underprivileged children with educational support as well as support for the daily meals. These children give back once they get jobs either by volunteering or helping us with finances, and let me tell you...our students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers and engineers. Even though I didn't get to go to college, I've lived my every dream through these students and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
We believe in "continuous improvement" & with our aim to be the best in what we do, we strive hard to make our programs a befitting one. We have introduced unique techniques & mechanisms not only to improve our teaching process but, also to engage our students more into our programmes. Our training sessions for teachers each week makes sure that the teachers are up-to-date with modern teaching techniques. Counseling sessions for children makes sure that they gain the proper knowledge of their life. Mobile library, in rural areas help to imbibe the value of learning & so on.
As we move forward, I am proud of what EOTO has accomplished so far, it was unimaginable without the help of our esteemed members like our Late Mr. Manshukhlal Shah, Mr. Ashok Tanna,. Mrs. Mehru Gandhi, Mrs. Usha Choudhary,. Mr. Rohan Shah, Mr. Ajay Tanna & Mr. Nilesh Choksi, who devoted their time & effort for such a noble cause, since its inception. I thank those who have supported the EOTO overtime & welcome all to join us as we continue our commitment to provide quality education to the underprivileged children.