Satya's Devi Life
Satya Devi was born in the small hilly village of Sekloo in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. For a large majority of sub-continental history, and most of her life, this has been a region torn by war. Like many women of her time and place, Satya Devi did not get access to a school or any formal education. But, as she would narrate to her children later in life, she wanted to learn. She saw her brother study up to secondary school—the region had no high schools then.
Satya Devi married Madan Lal Lamba and moved to another nearby village called Harni. The area had no pucca roads, no steady electricity, no nearby hospital, and no regular water supply. The family saw Indo-Pak wars of 1947-48, 1965 and 1971 through close quarters. As her children grew up, in the very limited vocabulary of English language that permeated the community, one of the words colloquially understood was ‘shelling’, as the act of firing across the border by armies on both sides.
In this background, as Satya Devi and Madan Lal were bringing up their seven children, six of whom survived, education was at the forefront of household discussions. Satya Devi was very clear that education was her children’s ticket to a better life. She pined for her children and for the community around her to have better access to secondary and higher education, to have a fair shot at a better life. Therefore, the primary mission of this foundation is education of younger children in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, with a special focus on Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The overarching mission of the foundation is to work towards Satya Devi’s desire that children from her land, and especially those from underprivileged families, have the opportunity to get education in life.