Mar 3, 2020

Ensuring continued education by building strong foundational learning

All smiles; Raimi photographed at her house in UP
All smiles; Raimi photographed at her house in UP

Iram (11) and Taskeen (12) are both inseparable, whether in class or with the style of wearing their hair. Which remains intact with a middle parting, followed by two symmetrical plaits, symbolic of the bond both of them share.

The girls are the middle two sisters of the family of seven. They live with their family in Farrukhabad and have 3 other siblings. Their younger sister, Raimi (8), is currently enrolled in Gyan Shala’s Class III. The other two are brothers, Ayaan (2) and Fazil (16). While Fazil has never been to school, Ayaan, the youngest will soon join Raimi in a year or two, to follow the path of all his elder sisters. 

Their father, Ateer, and mother, Khairun Nisha are both trained zardozi workers. While Ateer spends most of his days doing embroidery work at the local workshop, Khairun Nisha does Zardozi from the comforts of her open veranda to support the household’s income. Out of her earnings, she contributes a major chunk towards the girl’s education, saving hard-earned pennies for her labour. Their eldest brother, Fazil also accompanies Ateer to the workshop.

Achieving what many only dream! 

Iram and Taskeen both joined our program in 2013 in Class I and graduated from Class 5 in 2018. Both, Iram and Taskeen have been associated with Gyan Shala for five years, prior to which they had never been to a formal setting or ‘school’ before.

From Class I, when they were starting to read and write for the first time, Iram and Taskeen have gradually progressed in their education, gaining more knowledge and confidence with each passing year.

“In the last six years, we have seen both of them grow, physically and intellectually. Both are very different from each other, but when it comes to studies, they are competitive and strive to do their best. They always make us proud”, adds Khairun.

In 2018, when Iram and Taskeen graduated from Class 5, the family, along with the girls’ teachers and supervisors, were all brainstorming which all schools to apply to. The girls had set their eyes and hearts on one of the best schools in the neighbourhood. They had decided to strive for the best and aimed to be a part of the Kanodiya Girls School.

After clearing the intensive entrance test, both Iram and Taskeen got shortlisted. Seizing this opportunity, they joined their dream school, which has further enabled free and high-quality education for the next few years.

Reminiscing their humble beginnings

Although, initially, the sisters missed their old life of 3.5 hours of classes and familiar friends and teachers. However, in the last two months, the girls have grown fond of their new surroundings, and look forward to walking to school each morning. They enjoy how the new school has uniforms, and a proper canteen, where they are served food, each afternoon.

Iram and Taskeen have both moved onto bigger things since leaving the community learning centre or Gyan Shala. While Taskeen is extremely shy and reserved, Iram is outspoken and enjoys making new friends.

Converting Challenges into Opportunities

Despite challenges, both girls have been mainstreamed into the system and are continuing their education. On recalling the struggles of mainstreaming the girls, Khairun recalls how they were discouraged by some community members who believed that these girls were not cut out to be part of the league and should rather focus on ‘religious education’ instead of being part of a school. Although this extremely, the family was determined to get the girls the best education available.

Impact on the household

Although, it’s called just ‘Gyan Shala’, I know that the foundation they received in these classes is non-comparable to any other school I would have sent them to, which I doubt I could afford. We are extremely grateful that these girls got the right education at a young age, which has taken them to a great school like Kanodia in merely five years”, states a proud Khairun.

E&H Foundation is enabling quality education for many such children. By focussing on building strong foundational learning in the first five years of a child's life, we are ensuring continued learning where these children can pave their own path and move ahead in the education system and subsequently, in life. 

To support the education of underprivileged children in India and to chalk out more such success stories, donate on Give India Fundraisers for E&H Foundation 

Ayaan with his mother, Khairun
Ayaan with his mother, Khairun
Half a Household; Raimi, Ayaan & Iram with Khairun
Half a Household; Raimi, Ayaan & Iram with Khairun
Dec 5, 2019

Three Generations & One First Generation Learner

Three generations but only one first-gen learner
Three generations but only one first-gen learner

One Family, two rays of Sunshine: Following First Generation Learners in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh

Sister duo Shifa (5 years) and Ifa (7 years) live with their mom, dad and grandparents in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh. Their family is a traditional Muslim family, with deep cultural values and a progressive mindset. Shifa is currently enrolled in Std 2 and joined our program a year ago, when she started studying for the first time in her life, making her the first generation learner of her family.

Her favorite subject is English and hopes to be fluent in it one day. Being a first-generation learner in the family, Shifa is still adjusting to her new routine and has even made new friends in school in the past one year, whom she looks forward to meeting every day.

On some days, she is, however a bit reluctant to go to school and often has new tricks up her sleeve every morning to skip school but her grandmother Jameela is very active in making sure her granddaughters get good education even if that means bribing them with candy sometimes.

Shifa is the youngest one in her family and also the most loved one especially by her Badi Ammi (Grandmother). Shifa’s teacher, Nisha claims Shifa to be a shy student who mostly keeps to herself. However, according to Jameela, she is the life of their house and keeps everyone on their toes with constant chatter. Jameela often is the one who drops and picks up Shifa from her class and often is regular with taking her feedback from Nisha, Shifa’s class teacher.

Ifa, the older one on the other hand is calm and soft spoken. Until last year, she was also studying in the 1st standard of Blue Dart supported classes but now has been mainstreamed into one of the private schools close by. Her school is a kilometer away from her house, so her father drops her every morning while going to his Kaarkhaana (workshop). According to Ifa, she did face a few difficulties in the beginning at her new school but enjoys going to the school now, so much so that she wakes up every morning without any alarm.

The family has one goal - Educating the Girls 

The girls’ father, Raees, is the eldest of 3 brother and 2 sisters. His father was the sole earner in his family, so due to financial constraints, he couldn’t study much and had to help out the family financially. Currently, him and his brothers are all involved in Zardozi work and earn an average of Rs. 8000 each.

The girls’ mother, Irfaana only studied till class 8 and is a housewife now. However, now she realizes the importance of education in one’s life, that is why she constantly motivates her daughters to study well. Every evening, she helps them with homework and on days they don’t have homework, Irfaana revises with them the topics that were done in class that day.

The Siddiqui’s have high hopes for their daughters in the future. They motivate them to be serious towards their education as well as have fun with their friends. They realize that they lacked receiving a ‘quality education’ in their life and want to make sure their daughters have it all.

In the absence of our ongoing program, there is high probability that both Shifa and Ifa would not have been able to access quality education in their localities in the last two years.

In the long run, more support is needed from like-minded individuals and organizations to advance our efforts of reaching out to more such first-generation learners and households in the state of Uttar Pradesh. We aim to support the education of 1 Lakh students in the next five years. 

In the academic year 2019-20, we are supporting the education of about 7500 students in partnership with high impact and proven models. You can also become a part of their journey. To know more about our work, visit https://enhfoundation.in/ 

Please note that disbursements to this project from GlobalGiving are facing substantial delays. If you wish to contribute towards the cause of quality education of underprivileged children in India, you can visit Our Give India Campaign

Shifa (Left) and Ifa (Right) clicked at their home
Shifa (Left) and Ifa (Right) clicked at their home
Shifa & Jameela : At home (above) In class (below)
Shifa & Jameela : At home (above) In class (below)
Raees showcasing his Zardozi skills at his home
Raees showcasing his Zardozi skills at his home
The girls adore their grandfather and it shows
The girls adore their grandfather and it shows
The Siddiqui Family clicked at their house in UP
The Siddiqui Family clicked at their house in UP
Sep 4, 2019

Rohit becomes one of the top performers in class

Rohit, Mohit & Shobhit - First Generation learners
Rohit, Mohit & Shobhit - First Generation learners

Rohit, a 10-year-old boy, lives in Farrukhabad and studies in Std 3. In a narrow lane of a small village, rests Rohit’s house. A quiet, brick-walled structure, painted all white, calm and peaceful, just like the family inhabiting it themselves.

Rohit is a quiet, laborious and a sensitive child. He loves taking care of his younger siblings. His younger brother Mohit is 8 years old and also studies in Std 2 in GyanShala. The youngest brother, Shobhit is 3 years old and according to their mother, Poonam, is the most notorious of the lot.

Rohit and Mohit’s association with Gyanshala has not failed to run off on the youngest brother. Shobhit can easily count till 10, both in Hindi and English, thanks to his brothers.

Poonam (37) has studied till Class 2 herself and can read basic Hindi easily. She takes pride is being able to sign Rohit’s report cards every year. Poonam says that Rohit prefers our classes to the government school he dropped out of only after a year, three years back. Rohit’s ill-health was also a factor in his dropping out of school, along with his lack of interest in education back then. Since he started coming to E&H Foundation run classes, Rohit has become more sincere with his education and his attitude towards studying has dynamically shifted.

According to his class teacher, Miss Deepali, Rohit is sincere and thoroughly enjoys studying Maths and Language, especially English, which is her favorite subject. His attendance for the academic year 2018-2019 was 90% and he scored 317/320 in his final year-end examinations that were held in March 2019. Rohit credits his outstanding performance to his teacher and his family, who are supportive of his needs and allow him to pursue his studies thoroughly.

Poonam says, “Rohit has been given a second chance at life. Being the first born, he fell extremely sick a few years back and we were afraid we were going to lose him. But now, Rohit has proved to be one of the best performers in class. Not only this, he is extremely considerate and helpful even at home”

Poonam feels she missed out on having a daughter but Rohit makes it easier for her. Rohit takes pride in helping his mother do the cooking. He also helps her in taking care of the house. Sometimes, when she does Zari work at home, Rohit fills the water with his dad. He also takes care of his youngest brother, often roaming around the house carrying the little one on his shoulders. Sometimes, even studying and doing his homework through that. 

When asked how Poonam feels about Rohit going to GyanShala, she said, “Rohit is extremely intelligent and also gifted. But the biggest change we have seen is his unaverred commitment towards his studies on a daily basis and his enhanced ability to do calculations on the go, whether we send him to buy groceries or just milk.

Rohit's father, Sushil (40) is a zardozi worker and earns somewhere between 4000-6000 on a monthly basis. For them, education is not only important but imperative for the boys to grow up in a world of opportunities unlike themselves. Rohit’s parents are aware of the importance of quality education and have high expectations for him and his future. This increased awareness is also due to the effort of our field officers and supervisors, who tirelessly work with the parent community to encourage them to send children to class and be more involved with their studies, even if it means, simply instructing them to do their homework.

In 2019-2020, E&H Foundation is supporting the education of 7500 children like Rohit in partnership with two uniquely successful models - ESO's Gyanshala classes and Bharti Fouundation schools. 

We are grateful for our supporters and our partners at Global Giving for their continued encouragement towards our work. You can also join us in our quest of enabling brighter futures for these kids. Visit Our Project Page and Change a Life !

Rohit is one of the top performers in his class
Rohit is one of the top performers in his class
Rohit walking home post class with his best friend
Rohit walking home post class with his best friend
Rohit's mother, Poonam cooking for the boys
Rohit's mother, Poonam cooking for the boys
Poonam does Zari work at home for extra income
Poonam does Zari work at home for extra income
Poonam takes pride in her children's education
Poonam takes pride in her children's education
 
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