Is success about motivation? Is success about hard work? Or is it about opportunities? Everybody has a different opinion about it, but for Joythi Readdy ‘success is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration’.
Born in a village in Warangal District, D Anila Jyothi Reddy is eldest of four children whose father, a peasant, lost his job during the Emergency.
Since it was very difficult for the family to make ends meet, Jyothi was sent to an orphanage so that she could get some education. After she completed her class X with good marks, she was forced to leave her education and, at the age of 16, was married off to the man 10 years older than her. In next two years, she became the mother of two children.
Driven by her poverty, she started working as an agricultural labourer for Rs.5 a day.
But in 1988, her life took a turn for the good. Reunited with her passion for education, she was appointed as a teacher for Rs.150 per month by Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK), which started a night school in the village. She says
“In those days, Rs 120 was a lot of money for me. I could at least buy fruit and milk for my children. Next, I worked as a National Service Volunteer for Rs 200 a month.”
While working and taking care of family responsibilities, Jyothi went ahead and completed her graduation and post graduation from Ambedkar Open University. Later, she completed her B. Ed from Anna University.
Though she got a government job, her journey to school would cost her more than her salary. She said:
“In 1992, I got an 18-month job as a special teacher at Ameenpet, 70 km from Warangal. I used to sell sarees in the train every day to earn the extra money. Finally, I got a regular job in 1994 at a monthly salary of Rs 2,750. I worked as mandal girl child development officer and would inspect the schools.”
In 1998, Jyothi met a cousin who had come down from the US. Fascinated by their lifestyle, she decided to learn software courses in order to get better opportunities in the US. She went to the US but was shocked when all her relatives closed doors on her. She says:
“In 2000, I went to the US, where my husband’s cousin was. I took a job in a shop earning $60 for a 12-hour job and stayed as a paying guest with a Gujarati family.”
Her initial start in the US was a period marked with struggles and she had to do various odd jobs for her survival.
With the help from a close relative, she was hired as a recruiter in company CS America. Though she got a better job later, she did not have the necessary work visa and had to do odd jobs to stay in US. Gradually, she started her own company in the US called Key Software Solutions.
She also sponsors a kids’ home for mentally challenged and has joined hands with other NGOs Prajadharana Welfare Society, MV Foundation and Child Rights Advocacy Forum (CRAF). Jyothi Reddy has become an example for many people who are often hindered by various obstacles in their lives. She inspires us to rise above our problems and attain a successful life for ourselves.