Murshida wants to be a teacher
Murshida, resident of Topsia canalside squatter camp is 18 years old. She has just completed her final school exams. Her father is a tuktuk driver who earns about £2.50 (Rs200) a day. Most girls in this community marry at 12 or 13 years old but Murshida and Tiljala SHED's staff persuaded her parents to let her continue her education. Murshida has attended Tiljala SHED's classes since she was small and aspires now to become a teacher. She shows every sign of accomplishing her ambition.
And this is why our work is so important. We have to be there for every child who dreams of something bigger, every child who wants to help his or her family, every child who wants to correct injustice, to teach, to heal, to create, to inform. We need to provide an environment where a child who dreams gets a helping hand, the tools and opportunities he or she needs to change his or her life.
So 600 children of rag pickers, rickshaw drivers, maidservants, vegetable sellers are enrolled on Tiljala SHED's Education and Child Protection programme. They are required to attend their local government school but in the afternoon they attend remedial classes in T SHED's 5 centres, one in the heart of each community where we work. Here they play, sing, complete their homework, attend remedial sessions and child protection workshops. They love the classes and attendance is very high. Their parents are also closely involved - after all it is only with the parents' consent that the children remain in education and avoid dropping out. Tiljala SHED works very hard to persuade the parents that a proper education is worth the sacrifice of anything a boy might earn rag picking or working in a factory. And infinitely better than marrying off a daughter as soon as she reaches puberty.
This is the partnership required to raise a child to be the very best she or he can be: the child's own determination to succeed; the consent of the parents; support from the wider community; Tiljala SHED's amazing work.
And the cost of giving a child the opportunity for a better life…
£11 a month.