New Year Celebrations
At Pardada Pardadi, New Year is always welcomed with new endeavors and resolutions. Endeavors and resolutions set up by the girls themselves. What meaning does a New Year have for the Girls? Well! Before joining PPES, this day was like any other for the girls. They might work in the fields, sweep the floors of their houses, or help babysit a sibling. Now, they mark the day in style. On another note, staff members encouraged girls to make a resolution to help someone else for the coming year. With this in mind, the girls made altruistic pledges for 2010. A cultural program was set up by the girls where they performed on songs, recited poems and ate special sweets for the day. The New Year is a day that instills happiness and joy among the girls who celebrate it in full swing.
Excursion Trip to Almora
Our Girls can climb not only the trees but also trek mountains. And they had such fun doing that. In Jan, I Discoveri sponsored an excursion trip for about 20 PPES girls. One can’t imagine the great joy and a little anxiety that these girls had when the ropes were tied to them and they just had to fall freely. That is just what PPES wants them to learn: Break away from the shackles of discrimination against Girl Child. The pictures say it all. PPES girls had a great time reveling in the trip. This adventure is going to remain etched in our girl's lives for a long long time.
Training on Traffic
Sonu is a bright young boy with a disarming smile. In 2008, when in grade 4, he met with a road accident where a vehicle plying precariously on the road hit him. He lost his left leg and now walks with the help of a prosthetic one. This incident led PPES to train its students on road safety measures sooner. The alleys of the village although empty most time of the day sees vehicles at a high speed just because there are no traffic rules to be obeyed. On January 26, ITC paired with PPES and innovated with lessons in ‘Road Safety’ by arts competitions and drills. The parents also joined the kids to ensure that their kids are safe while on the road. The training was made hi-tech by using computer supported programs.
In the state of Uttar Pradesh, more than 85% girls do not have access to primary education. Pardada Pardadi added 250 girls from most marginalized and disadvantaged communities of Anupshahr in February 1, 2010. These girls belong to families who have never seen a school in their lifetime. They are literally ostracized to communities where there is apparently no family of a higher caste in their neighborhood. Their source of income is temporary jobs like burying corpses, masonry,, and menial labor among others that are looked down upon by the so called higher castes. Pardada Pardadi concentrated more on the Muslim communities segregated by the name of ‘Fakir Tribe’: Families with virtually no means of income generation and who resuscitate on alms from communities higher up in the social-economic hierarchy. The new school caters more to the belongingness needs of these girls. It’s literally an experience of a life time to see them riding the school bus, queuing up for the morning prayers, watching movies, learning lessons in English, math, and others.
We are proud of the fact that they are the first generation school-goers in their families. In years to come, they will be the change agents valuing the need for education for their children. The change has come starting the 250 girls. We are set to reach out to every girl to make sure her basic right to free and compulsory education is not ignored.
School Exchange Program
The Global Youth Connect (GYC) is a non-profit based in New Jersey, U.S. Its is to significantly impact the development of youth worldwide by providing them exposure to their international peers, and expanding their perspective, awareness, and appreciation for others. GYC and PPES partnered in Oct 2009 for a cultural enrichment program between PPES girls and PS/MS282(Park Slope 282) school at Brooklyn in New Jersey.
Sports, activities, study material, and other things were exchanged between both the schools. The PPEs girls made great friends with kids from far off on the globe. GYC made it such an exciting program for them. The program finished in February 2010. May 2010 is the ‘Happy Ending’ month where PPES girls will get a party from their friends in New Jersey.
Holi at Pardada Pardadi!
The festival of colors couldn’t have been more colorful at Pardada Pardadi. The girls were colored in all possible colors: Dark red, purple, blue… You name it and they had it on them. What real fun it was! On March 1, Pardada Pardadi looked like a Disney Land of Anupshahr. Not only did the girls color themselves, they didn’t let anyone miss reveling in the festivities. If you want to be part of Holi celebrations, you got to come to Pardada Pardadi.
Woman’s Day at Pardada Pardadi
The Women’s Day was a house full of activities! March 8 every year holds a special meaning for PPES. Our girls were happily summoning the day as “The Mahila Diwas” in Hindi and English too.
So, what did the girls have in store for us? Ms. Poonam Natarajan, Chairperson, National Trust, was the chief guest for the event. Sandhya Raman, the woman behind Dismania (Fashion Brand) and Chitra, a leading social activist added more meaning by being there with the girls. Well, there were field games, dance show, a song especially penned down for PPES by the girls, and folk anecdotes. The men teachers took charge of the kitchen and catering. And they proved equally good at that with the nice meals they brought from the hot kitchen. Just that the tea had salt instead of sugar for an unusual change. The girls listened rivetingly to Ms. Natrajan’s speech. She told personal stories of courage and inspiration.
What an amazing and fun packed day the PPES students had!
29 PPES Girls sit for state level grade 10 Exams
In 2010, 29 girls finished taking their State Level Board Exams for grade 10. Their first exam was on March 6 and the last on March 31. They took exams for Hindi, English, Social Science, Science, Home Science and Drawing. Almost all of them are now readying themselves for admission in higher grade. They are excitingly waiting for their results which will be out by June.
Best of Luck Girls!
Volunteer Marie Louis joins PPES
Marie-Louise became part of Pardada Pardadi in December 2009. She is from Washington, D.C, U.S.A.
How excited was Marie to be at Pardada Pardadi??
Well very as she also volunteered to spend her Christmas with the girls breaking literally the custom of celebrating it with her family that she’s been doing so ritualistically since a little child in the U.S. And she has no regrets as last Christmas with PPES was one of her best! She is currently giving English lessons to the PPES teachers and staff at the school. She also gives lessons to grade 8 and 9 girls. She is taking every effort to make English a second language in the school other than Hindi. The difference is quite visible when you see the girls flocking around a visitor and confidently greeting her/him in English. Marie has committed a full year to PPES.
In the last months, PPES got some great work done. The school now has a brand new Library which kids just adore so much. They also have a newly appointed teacher to train them in spoken English.
The coming months have so much more in store..
School Library PPES’ library can easily be awarded as one of the most famous sites with its students. Students throng at the library whenever they get a chance other than their designated library hrs (One class per week). The library is a store house of about 735 English and 235 Hindi books, with a few that are bilingual. They stand neatly stacked in purple, yellow, green and blue book shelves. The books are on different genres from story books on favorite cartoon characters to encyclopedias. We’ll soon have books in Urdu as well for students who learn Urdu language at school. Students identify with it as a personal space that they get to explore each moment they spend there.
However, the library wasn’t the same a few months ago. It has recently been expanded and renovated. Earlier it used to be a tiny room with just one book shelf. Now, it is a large spacious hall. There is also a computer to keep track of catalogue and check out of books taken by students to home.
The library just got a conference table that is used for reading the newspapers and magazines. It has a colorful cabinet of board games that girls love to play during breaks. Sony, a PPES graduate is the librarian.
The New English Teacher The academic curriculum of the school has English as one of the main subjects that students learn from class nursery. When you meet PPES’ girls, you’ll hear them greeting you and trying to strike a conversation in English. That’s an amazing drive that they have in them. PPES channelized this drive by appointing an English teacher this October 2009 for the girls. He is Rizwan Khan and trains girls in improving their spoken and written English. In just a few months, the girls seem so excited about their lessons. What with they now telling you the nuances between ‘Does’ and ‘Do’; asking you politely ‘Again’ when they don’t comprehend you. However, that happens only rarely. Rizwan also trains teachers as part of ‘Train the Trainers’ program. He is guiding PPES teachers and staff in improving their spoken English. Our teachers are from the village and this is an amazing program for them that PPES has started.
Meet our student Priyanka It is difficult to miss out Priyanka’s vivacious sight at the school. No doubt that our little 14 years old is one of the most talkative and curious students. Her smile shines from miles away! Priyanka joined PPES when she was 10 years old. At the time, she was a very shy little girl. Today, she's become a teenager, confident and healthy, preparing for the 10th grade Board Exams.
Not only does Priyanka never miss school, but she loves it! Her favorite subject is English. She wants to speak fluent English and that's one of the reasons why she always welcomes our international guests. That and because she is just curious to know from which country her guests are from.
At school, Priyanka is known for her perfect attendance. Last June, she was awarded with a school trip to Amritsar and to the India-Pakistan border for her perfect attendance. "It was the best award ever because I love traveling! But traveling in India takes too long.
That's why I have decided that I will become a pilot to fly fast". She just needs to decide which country to visit first! She says America! Priyanka is full of dreams for her family. She has 2 little sisters who also go to school at Pardada Pardadi and a younger brother. They live with their mum - Nemvati, dad - Dhaniram and grandmother - Ganga Devi.
They live in a small house. There are 2 bedrooms. Life is not always easy at home, but “I will buy them a big house with my salary". Her dad works at a sugar mill between November and March. The rest of the year, if he doesn't find a job he stays at home. Her mother takes care of the house and the buffaloes, her rare friends. And after school, Priyanka and her sisters take care of the cooking.
Priyanka's dreams are high but not impossible! And it's our mission at PPES not only to let her dream, but also to make her dreams come true.
PPES thanks its donor friends on Global Giving for their continual support.
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