Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India

by Tiljala Society for Human and Educational Development
Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India
Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India
Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India
Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India
Kahkasha
Kahkasha

Kahkasha was just 6 years old when she joined this project.  She is from a very poor family: her father is a waiter who earns just £55 ($72) each month. With that he supports his wife Farzana, daughter Kahkasha (now aged 9) and her younger brother.  They live in a single rented room of about 3m x 3m. They are a respectable family who want the best for their daughter.  But Kahkasha struggled in her first years at school. Shreya, who runs the programme, was very concerned as she feels very responsible for ensuring that your donations are properly spent.  So she engaged Anjum, one of the graduates from this programme, to give Kahkasha some extra tuition – and it seems that this has really paid off.  You can see the difference between this year’s and last year’s reports. Her grades have gone from mainly Ds and Cs to As and Bs. Her teachers are very pleased and so are her parents.  

Shreya reports:

“Kahkasha was promoted to class 1 she scores good number her percentage is 64% she did well. Before getting support from GlobalGiving, she was very weak in studies but now Anjum is giving her private tuition regularly now they are getting every benefit from GlobalGiving. Her family said they highly obliged to GlobalGiving. Her father works as a waiter in a restaurant where he earns very less amount of money RS 5000 per month.  In this amount he has to manage his family with this small amount. Kahkasha has a younger  brother now he is 3 years old and her mother Farzana she  is a housewife she do  all the house hold works at her home and also sit with her children when they comes from school ,they try to give proper education to their child  so we hope that they will success in their life”

We are so pleased that Kahkasha is now doing well, and with your continued support we hope she will continue to shine.   

A monthly donation of £27 provides hope for the future for girls from very poor families. This support ensures that the girl remains in education and does not end up married off early or engaged in child labour.   

This week every donation to this project (up to $50 or £38) will be matched 60% by GlobalGiving. So a donation of £38 from a UK tax payer is worth £70.30 to us. Please consider an extra donation to help a girl like Kahkasha

Kahkasha in 2016 when she joined the programme
Kahkasha in 2016 when she joined the programme
2018 Report card
2018 Report card
2019 Report card. See the difference
2019 Report card. See the difference
With her family
With her family

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Shehnaz "Thank you"
Shehnaz "Thank you"

To grow up the child of a rag picker puts you among one of the most marginalised and despised groups in society. Even within the slum where you live, you are at the back of the queue for water. In a highly stratified society you are right at the bottom. Shehnaz’s mother is a ragpicker. She supports her family of six by collecting cardboard, plastic, paper and metal waste from the streets and selling in on to dealers.
Unlike many other rag pickers Shehnaz’s mother wants her children to stay away from child labour and to get an education. All the children except Shehnaz’s disabled 6 year old brother attend school. We admitted Shehnaz to this programme because her mother couldn’t afford to pay for the additional tuition necessary for her daughter to pass her exams. Since then Shehnaz has passed her class X and is happily studying in class XI. With your support and her hard work she will pass class XII next year and have the opportunity to go into higher education.

I am particularly excited that I’ll be able to meet Shehnaz and all the other girls on this programme next week when I’ll be in Kolkata to catch up on all Tiljala SHED’s projects. So watch this space for up to date news.

Meanwhile Shehnaz and her family send a special thank you to our GlobalGiving donors and wish you a Happy New Year.

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Dulari
Dulari

Almost a year ago I reported here about 6 ambitious young women who were busy defying all expectations and about to embark on a university career. https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/educate-destitute-girls-in-kolkata-india/reports/?subid=99072

Today I am delighted to report that they are all doing well and loving college life.  Back in November 2017, we were worried about Dulari. 

Like the others she had proceeded against the odds through the Islamia Girls High School (enduring class sizes of 150 and upwards).  She had been inspired by Sofia Khan, who had grown up in the same slum but had fought the system and is now a senior officer in the West Bengal Civil Service.  Determined to get into university, Dulari jumped at Tiljala SHED’s offer of free Sunday tuitions, passed her class 12 exams and won a free place to Bhawanipore College.

But her family was so poor that her parents wouldn’t be able to spare her for any more education, nor would they be able to provide her with the books, stationery, travel costs and other expenses she needed to be able to continue with her education.

Thanks to your generosity Dulari was able to join this sponsorship programme and all these costs are covered.  She wants to join the civil service, like Sofia.  You have given her the opportunity to make a success of her life.

 

Report from Shreya and Aamna who run the programme:

"Dulari lives with her family in a rented room at jannagar Road kol-17 Her father Md Alauddin he works as a Auto Driver and he earn very less Her mother Kharuinisa she is a house wife .They are four sisters all of them are studying in school. At present she is studying in B.A 1st year at Bhawanipur education society college it’s a famous collage at Kolkata. She said thanks to GlobalGiving Project for her support now she is getting everything .Before getting the sponsorship she was in Anjuman Islamia Girls High School during that time she faces many problems it’s a big challenge for her to complete her education her family is very grateful to GlobalGiving Education. Hopefully she will complete her graduation."

At college, changing lives, changing the world
At college, changing lives, changing the world
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Zaira then and now
Zaira then and now

This is Zaira.  She joined the Global Giving sponsorship programme when she was just 4 years old.  She lives in a 100sq ft rented room in the Tiljala slum with her family of five.  Her father earns just Rs4000 (£45 or USD58) per month as a labourer.  When the parents approached Tiljala SHED, we thought Zaira was too young.  However her mother, Nazni, told us how Zaira was already loving primary school.  Her parents were so keen that their daughter should have this chance and that they would do everything they could to support her. All her mother wants is for Zaira to get an education and have a better chance in life than she had herself. How could we say no?   I am so delighted to report that 2 and a half years later, Zaira is doing really well.  She has just completed class 3.  She scored an astonishing 87% in her year end exams and still loves school.   She says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. 

For Zaira’s family sponsorship means that they do not have to go without food or get into debt in order to provide Zaira with the books, school bag, shoes and uniform that she needs.  She’ll receive extra tuition where she needs it; she will attend a variety of cultural, arts, sporting events; she is a member of the Gyan Azhar library where she can study, learn computer skills, read and borrow books.  The family also receives a small allowance to ensure that Zaira gets good nutrition.

It costs just £27 a month to sponsor a girl like Zaira.

Zaira with her mother and sister
Zaira with her mother and sister
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Shehnaz
Shehnaz

We have recently enrolled Shehnaz onto this education programme.  Shehnaz is special because she comes from such a deprived background that most girls of her age (19) would already have been married off and producing children.

She is from the rag picker community in Tangra. Her parents are both illiterate.  Her father is 40 and a violent alcoholic and no longer lives with the family. Her mother, aged 35 (must have been just 16 when Shehnaz was born), keeps her family of 5 together by rag picking.  They live in a shelter of about 2.5m x 3 m.  They have no toilet and no running water.

Shehnaz has remained in education and is about to sit her class 10 exams.  We enrolled her on the scheme because she needs continued financial support to help her pass these exams and go on to complete 2 more years of school and maybe even go on to university.  It takes a great deal of determination and the support of her mother for a girl like Shehnaz to choose education against the social pressure to drop out and marry. 

She and her mother deserve and desperate need this support.

So what does it mean to Shehnaz to join the Global Giving Education Programme?

 These are the costs that Shehnaz’s mother would have to cover – out of her £35 per month income from rag picking:

  1. Any necessary academic fees will be paid.
  2. She will receive a nutrition allowance – ensuring she eats enough nourishing food to keep her healthy
  3. All school books: The girls purchase the books they need and bring the books in to be stamped (see the picture below) and the costs are reimbursed.
  4. They receive a school bag and an umbrella
  5. School uniforms and shoes are supplied where needed
  6. Any costs incurred in travel to school are covered (usually for those at college – most walk to school)
  7. All stationery is paid for

 But as a member of the programme Shehnaz also benefits in the following ways

  1. She is a member of the Gyan Azhar library, a safe space to work peacefully, to borrow books, to use the computers
  2. She will enjoy excursions – to the cinema, museums and exhibitions
  3. She will be invited to events held at the library where she will learn new skills – dance, jewellery making, guitar lessons
  4. She will have computer training
  5. She will attend various sessions on health and hygiene, her rights, use of social media
  6. And she will have access to the staff of the library and of the education programme for advice and mentoring.

We want every one of the girls on this programme to reach her full potential and we work closely with the girls and their families to ensure that they can fulfil their ambitions.  Their mothers are always supportive – as they know the consequences of failing to complete an education.  They want more for their daughters.

We all want to thank you so much for your amazing support and please do tell your families and friends what a difference they too could make to a vulnerable girl like Shehnaz

Thank you

With mother & disabled brother - at our office
With mother & disabled brother - at our office
Labels go in all books purchased for the girls
Labels go in all books purchased for the girls

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Organization Information

Tiljala Society for Human and Educational Development

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TiljalaSHED
Project Leader:
Jane Manson
Kolkata, India
$58,672 raised of $100,000 goal
 
758 donations
$41,328 to go
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