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Feb 20, 2020

Rama Can Now Calculate the Money She and her Mother Earn!

Rama, beneficiary
Rama, beneficiary

A native of Udaipur district in Rajasthan, thirteen year old Rama's*, life was limited to doing household chores and selling the fruits she picked. She has two elder sisters, who are married, and a younger brother, who dropped out after the 7th Grade. Her father works as a daily wage labourer and hence feeding his family with this meager income proves very difficult for him. Everyone works hard in the family to contribute some money.

Rama always wanted to go to school, but her family’s financial constraints, as well as her father's outlook, never supported her dream. Her father believed that only boys should study while girls should work at home, and that's the reason why he sent his son to study in the school in their village but always held his daughters back. 

Educate Girls’ community volunteer (called Team Balika) Mukesh visited Rama's house after identifying her as an out-of-school girl during the field survey. However, Rama’s father was adamant to not change his decision. Mukesh called the parents to a Mohalla Meeting (community meeting) and told Rama's father about the benefits of going to school, the government schemes existing to support girls' education and how going to school can brighten up her future. With persistent discussion and convincing, her father fianlly relented and agreed to send Rama to school.

Rama now studies in Grade 2 and has already learned how to write her name in Hindi, the alphabets in English and basic mathematical calculations. She is a smart child, who was never given an opportunity to study. Now, she never misses a day in school because she loves learning new things!

"Rama is a very brilliant child, she grasps everything being taught in class very quickly. She is always eager to learn new things and actively participates in extra-curricular activities. A lot of other children feel motivated seeing her enthusiasm to come to school and have started attending school regularly," shared Ramesh, her school teacher.

Rama now helps her mother calculate her earnings from selling fruits. “I love studying maths. I even know how to calculate money so nobody can cheat me or my mother. Earlier, she used to take whatever amount was being paid to her, but that’s not the case anymore. My mother even gave me pocket money for helping her and now I will buy a school bag with it!” she happily shared.

Rama still goes to pick fruits but makes sure that she doesn’t miss even a day of school.

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor.

Rama Picking Fruits
Rama Picking Fruits
Rame Learning in Class with Educate Girls' GKP kit
Rame Learning in Class with Educate Girls' GKP kit
Rama with her Friends in School
Rama with her Friends in School

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Nov 25, 2019

RAJNI GETS ANOTHER CHANCE AT EDUCATION

Rajni, Educate Girls' Beneficiary
Rajni, Educate Girls' Beneficiary

When Rajni*, who belongs to a village in Madhya Pradesh - India, puts on her favourite outfit – her school uniform - to go to the local primary school, no one can say that this girl was once out of school. Rajni is one of the four children and her father works as a manual labourer. Due to poor financial condition of the family, her father decided to move to the neighbouring state of Gujarat in search of higher wages. Soon after, Rajni’s mother joined him so that they could both work and earn more for their family.

While they were away for 9-10 months of the year, the children were left in the care of the neighbours. In such circumstances, going to school was but a long lost dream. Rajni was in the 3rd grade when her parents left for Gujrat. School was no more a priority for Rajni and her family. She dropped out of school and spent her time at home with her siblings.

Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator Govind heard about Rajni’s case from few of the villagers.Govind waited for six months for Rajni’s parents to return so that he could talk to them about enroling Rajni back into school. When her parents did return, Rajni’s father’s first response to the question of sending her back to school was, “Who will take care of the house and the rest of the family while we’re away?”

Govind tried to explain to him that enrolling and educating Rajni could help her find employment, and there could be a future where the parents didn’t have to migrate to Gujarat to earn their living. After continuous counselling and consideration, her father finally gave his consent.

This year when Rajni's father went to Gujrat, he decided to leave his wife behind to take care of the household and ensure that Rajni went to school regularly. Rajni was enrolled in Class 4 in the Government run public school.

Her mother states, “Taking the decision of me staying here with the children was not an easy one as it means giving up our family income by half. But the hope of a better future for my daughter and the happiness I see on her face assures me that all will be well.”

*Names are changed to protect the identity of the individuals.

Aug 29, 2019

Lali - the First One to Go to School in her Family

Lali at her home in Alirajpur
Lali at her home in Alirajpur

Hailing from a remote village in the Alirajpur District of Madhya Pradesh, 10-year old Lali* had only heard of schools but had never been to one. At the tender age of 5, Lali, alongwith her elder brother and her parents, migrated to the neighboring state of Gujarat in search for opportunities for a sustainable livelihood. Since then, she has taken the responsibility of doing the household chores while her parents and her brother toil in the field engaging in hard manual labour. Tragedy struck when her father passed away after a couple of years and they had to return to their village. The loss of a working member in the family resulted in increasing the financial burden on the family, thus forcing them to relentlessly work harder to sustain themselves.

In 2018, Lali was identified as an out-of-school girl during Educate Girls’ field survey. Educate Girls' Field Coordinator, Naseer, and a Team Balika (our village-based volunteer) visited the family to understand the situation. When they reached Lali’s house, the family was found to be very unresponsive. So much so, that her mother wouldn’t even come out of the house. Naseer paid another visit to her house the next day. Naseer states, “When I first visited Lali’s family, I realised that her mother and the elder brother had no say in the decision-making of the household. As is common with families in rural India, it was her grandfather, the patriarchial head who held the final word. So I went and spoke directly to him. He seemed like a wise man and didn’t hold anything against education, but since no one in his entire family had ever been to school, he was unaware about the importance or the returns of education.Another reason for his reluctance to send Lali to school was that she did all the household chores while her mother went to work. Sending her to school would mean the loss of helping hand at home.

I informed them about provisions made by the Government for free education and spoke to them at length about their children's right to education. I also made them aware that it is compulsory for the children falling in the age bracket of 6 to 14 years to go to school. I told them how enrolling Lali in school would enable her to confidently face the world and choose a career that will not only help her stand on her own feet, but will help their family's financial situation as well. Her grandfather didn’t take very long to accede to the idea of sending Lali to school!” asserts Naseer.

After much deliberation, Lali started going to school for the first time!

She was enroled in Grade 3 but as she had never been to school, her foundation had not been set. She felt completely out of place at her school and lagged behind her fellow classmates. The Team Balika of her village and the school teacher took extra lessons and paid special attention to Lali after school hours. Lali's turned ou to be a quick learner and has made plausible improvement in a very short time. She has been going to school for a few months now and has made new friends as well! She loves learning new things and makes it a point to narrate them to her mother and sometimes even teaches her what she learns at school. Her mother waits to listen to Lali’s stories and doesn’t mind the extra work at hand!

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor.

Lali telling her mother what she learnt in school
Lali telling her mother what she learnt in school
 
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