As Ruliya Akter walks her way towards the classroom along with her batch mates, there is an essence of anxiety and a quench of hope in her eyes that sets her distinct among the crowd. Known well for her sincerity and commendable performance, this young woman has a big story to tell. Ruliya is a student of Cooking trade at UCEP Mirpur Technical School, Dhaka. She lives with her mother and nine siblings in Kafrul, near Mirpur. She lost her father at the age of seven. The struggle to afford daily bread for the family started from then onwards. The family did not have enough money or other source of income except their own property they were living in. Unable to bear the expenses of the whole family, Ruliya’s mother decided to rent a portion of their house as a sublet to a partner and hence accommodate all her children and herself in one room. With this minute income her mother could hardly bear household expenses. Later, she let all her daughters’ hands into early marriage to cut down the costs and Ruliya was also a victim of it when she was in Class X. Ruliya was only 13 years old when she got married to a so-called tiles businessman – later found out that he was jobless. Her times at in-laws were of severe abuse and sufferings. She kept herself pinned under the sword as she knew the consequence of returning to her mother. Bearing this pain and torture for nine years, at one point Ruliya’s husband left her. By this time, she became a mother of two children. Having no other way, Ruliya returned to her mother. Looking at her children’s future, Ruliya had inspired herself to do something better. She learned about UCEP Technical Schools and after exploring thoroughly Ruliya got admitted into the Cooking trade. Now, Ruliya is one of the top performers of the class and is recognized as a ‘Perfectionist’ among the trainers. She remains focused on learning and shows sincerity towards her tasks. Ruliya gives all credit to UCEP Bangladesh for providing a platform for a person who was stranded in the middle of the ocean. She knows her dreams are filling colors right now. Determined Ruliya states, “UCEP Bangladesh opened a new path to success and I know the upcoming steps will take me higher.”

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