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Jun 18, 2020

Asha's Journey Back to School!

Asha, beneficiary
Asha, beneficiary

These days, 12-year old Asha* can be seen playing with her friends in the corridors of her school. However, a few months ago it seemed impossible for her to ever go back to school again.

Eldest of five children, Asha was entrusted with the job to look after all her siblings since both her parents went to work. After identifying Asha as an out-of-school girl during a field survey, Om from Educate Girls’ team went to speak to her parents to enrol her back in school. Her mother did not even entertain the idea of sending her to school and refused to discuss it further. But Om was relentless and did not give up. When he went to her house again, Asha’s mother sat him down and told him that sending girls to school was against her family’s tradition –that girls must learn how to do household chores and get married. Hearing this, Om gave examples of several girls from the village who are happily enroled in school. He also told her that education is free and the benefits it would bring are priceless. To motivate Asha into going to school, he made her speak to other school-going girls, who shared their experiences.

Little Asha made up her mind to go to school, but her mother was still not convinced. Om then decided to take help from the school headmaster and the school teacher, who happily agreed to come and speak to her mother. Asha also did not have an Aadhar Card (Government ID) and when Om volunteered to get the necessary documentation done, her parents refused. However, after constant pleas, they agreed and Asha’s Aadhar Card was made and she was enrolled in school!

However, her happiness was short-lived. Asha went to school regularly only for a month. After a week’s absence, her teacher started worrying and informed Om. When he visited her home to enquire about the situation, Asha’s mother was adamant about not letting her go to school. Om felt helpless and did not know how to react and requested the village head to help him convince Asha’s mother.

It took more than a few visits on Om and the village head’s part to convince Asha’s mother to enrol Asha in school. They spoke to her at length about the benefits of education, addressed all her concerns, and explained how delaying the necessary would only make Asha lag behind her peers. They suggested that going to school was just a matter of a few hours and Asha could help with the chores after school. Her mother finally relented and agreed to send her back to school. Since then Asha has been going to school regularly and is now in Grade 4!

Asha still helps her mother with the household chores and balances well between her studies and her duties t home. Now that she goes to school, she tells her family about nutrition, basic health and hygiene that should be maintained at home.

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor

Asha Taking Care of the Household Chores
Asha Taking Care of the Household Chores
Asha Learning the Hindi Alphabet in Class
Asha Learning the Hindi Alphabet in Class

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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.

 
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