On 8 August, 2012, Mrs. Jyothi Reddy was on my talk show “Hello Hong Kong” on a Global Telugu Internet Radio called TORi.
“ Every successful story has a painful beginning and every painful beginning has a successful ending”. – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
This saying is true to many of our lives. Some might just say that this is an easy statement to make, and not a practical approach to life, but Mrs. Reddy, a woman of steel nerves proves otherwise. She confidently conveys that she designed her own life and took all the challenges across her path to reach her aspired goal. Many magazines and newspapers named her “Jyothi bane Jwala“, “Business Woman” and the likes.
Mrs. Reddy was born in a small village, Narasimhula Gudem of Hanumakonda Mandal in the Warangal District of Andhra Pradesh. Her father was working for the Indian army but left the service to look after the family. With no regular income, it became difficult to take care of his family. Being the eldest of four children, she was sent to an orphanage for further studies. Living in an orphanage was not easy with insufficient food, clothing and improper facilities. She studied from the 5th to the 10th standard while she was there, and got married off at the early age of 16. After getting married, she was keen on pursuing her education. Unfortunately, her financial condition didn’t permit her to do so. And by the tender age of 18, she was a mother to two young girls.
With a bigger family now and finding it difficult to arrange for two full square meals a day, she persuaded her husband and mother-in-law to allow her to take up a job and support her husband financially. She started working as a daily wage labourer in fields, earning a mere Rs. 5 per day. Since then, there was no looking back for Mrs. Reddy.
In 1989, with a strong determination and desire to give her children a better life than her own, she started off as a volunteer of Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK), teaching adults at night and earning Rs. 150 per month. Looking at her persistent efforts and dedication towards educating her villagers, she was promoted as Mandal Prerak of Hanumakonda.
Turning her life obstacles into milestones, she pursued her graduation and post graduation through distant learning. It was the visit of her NRI cousin to India that ignited the desire to move to America. The question was how he was going to make the move. It was not an easy task for a rural woman like her, which got her planning and preparing to equip herself to find a job there. Her visa was rejected several times, yet she never gave up.
After many tries, she finally acquired a visitor’s visa and landed in New Jersey in 2000, knowing that there were tough times ahead of her. Not losing courage and hope, she started her life as a sales woman working in a video shop. Living as a paying guest, walking miles to work and back home, not knowing how long this condition would last, she was only focusing and aiming at a better life for her children’s future.
Once her H1 visa stamping was done in Mexico in 2001, she realized that many others like her, were expected to go through this ordeal and hence, sketched a path to build a helpline, thereby launching Keys Software Solutions which helps new immigrants with their US visa application services. With the right mind, right purpose and the right direction, she worked for her continuous growth and for others as well.
Mrs. Jyothi Reddy is a great inspiration to many; one gets to learn the strategies of living a life that one aspires for. Till date, she maintains that one has to take up self-responsibility as no condition is permanent but one must never expect miracles and always work for continuous growth for themselves and the society they live in.