‘I owe everything to the Shiksha Kendra (Seva Mandir’s School) and my teacher. Without them, I would not have achieved what I did today’.
These are the words of Kokila, an ex-student of one of Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra, who recently graduated from her 12th Standard with one of the highest marks in Udaipur District. However, 7 years ago, just enrolling into a government school seemed like an unreachable dream.
Kokila was a student in one of our Shiksha Kendras located in her home village in the remote rural and tribal area of Kherwara, around 80km from Udaipur city, where the average daily wage per-capita is just $0.50c. Her parents struggled to look after their large family of 6 children, supporting them through subsistence agriculture (as with most of the families that Seva Mandir works with). In our working area, many girls are kept home from school and instead perform household chores. But Kokila didn’t let this deter her - she was determined to get an education.
Kokila excelled and she passed through the Shiksha Kendra with flying colours.
Since 2007, more than 12,500 children have graduated into government or private schools, but even with her success, Kokila’s family’s poverty prevented her from going any further; they just could not afford to pay her school fees and continue to support themselves at the same time. For Kokila, it felt that all was lost. Her education had given her basic literacy and an understanding of maths but most of all it had started a flame inside her to learn more.
Her Shiksha Kendra teacher saw that longing inside her and he was determined to get her back into education. He made regular visits with her parents, trying to persuade them to send her back to school. Eventually, his efforts paid off and they agreed. Kokila was soon enrolled into a local government upper-primary school.
7 years later, Kokila has exceed all expectations – even her own. She is now studying in her second year of university in Udaipur and, even though she is not sure what will come next, she has become an inspiration to the girls from her remote community.
Just as with Kokila, it is vital that we support children and ensure that they can receive a quality education and your donation this Christmas can help us do just that.
Donating just $60 will provide education to a child for 1 year, and as part of GlobalGiving’s Year End Campaign, we could be eligible for bonus prizes which would help send more children to school. But we need your help to get there.
You would also be supporting a programme that has been developed alongside the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economic Science! Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, Prof. Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer partnered with Seva Mandir over a number of research projects and helped to develop a camera monitoring system for our Shiksha Kendras that greatly improved attendance of students and teachers. You can find out more here https://bit.ly/2YUO9aJ.
We would like to thank you from the bottom of our heart for joining hands with us. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team
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