Gayatri and her four daughters live in a single room in a slum in central Kolkata. She desperately wants her daughters to complete their education so that they can have a better life than hers. Gayatri supports her family with the help of an ancient Xerox machine. The tiny income she earns from photocopying is barely enough to feed the family. When the machine breaks down the family goes hungry because she needs to have it repaired. Her greatest fear is that the machine will fail completely leaving them destitute. During the pandemic Gayatri has diversified and now sells facemasks as well.
Two years ago Gayatri came to us as she had heard that Tiljala SHED runs a small education project for very needy girls. She asked us to help with her youngest daughter’s education. We didn’t find a sponsor for Akansha, but we have managed to squeeze her in to the project. She is only in class 2, but we could see that she is a bright girl with tremendous support from her mother (which is really the key for these girls). Akansha’s older sisters share a smartphone and now need it it to access their online education whilst India’s schools have been closed. Once Akansha also needed to go online for her learning the situation became impossible for all four daughters. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Akansha has received her own smartphone and has all the basic costs of her education covered. This includes things like uniform, shoes, a school bag, books and stationery. Where needed we cover tuition fees, travel expenses and the cost of our own meetings and workshops. During the pandemic, any costs we saved on uniforms, travel and shoes we were able to distribute to the families for extra food. It was very much needed.
Schools in West Bengal opened again last week and Akansha and her sisters will be able to enjoy a return to some kind of normality.
We want to thank you and all our donors for your continued generosity especially now when our beneficiaries have suffered such terrible hardship. Of course your support is more necessary than ever, so please consider a donation today so that Akansha and so many girls like her can continue to reach for a better life through education.
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