I am Naresh Sir in charge of the education programme here at People First
Welcome to report number thirty for this important project which directly supports students born into poverty improve their and their family’s lives immeasurably. I have decided that Ranjeet a sponsored student in Delhi would form the basis of this update. It is based on a series of interviews in Hindi with Ranjeet, but these are his words and we have not edited or embellished them. It is however a very personal account.
Obviously he has given his full permission, but according to Global Giving Guidelines regarding personally identifiable information we have changed his name.
“The photo above is me at school, as a sponsored student from People First.
The photo below is me now!, still a sponsored student at People First!
What a journey it has been.
My goodness me by the grace of god and the kindness of others I believe I can build a much better future for myself my family and my own children to come. Like all journeys it wasn’t easy, no journey worth making rarely is, but I am now stepping with hope onto the road of a new life, due to the generosity of people like you.
If there was a word which summarises my experience so far it is hope. What a wonderful thing hope is when you haven’t experienced it in your early life and when just to be able to get some food some vegetables even as a treat was as much as I could have hoped for.
How things have changed.
My story is simple, People First village school, then a sponsored residential place and full time education in a school of my choice and then a chance to study Spanish in Delhi. I don’t mind admitting I struggled so much when I came to Delhi, I was only fifteen or sixteen,( I still don’t really know my birthday, but my mother says it was a clear winters night), a bit lost, homesick, lonely a bit, but I knew I could never give up. I failed an exam, I went to my room and wept, I was quite sad and then something happened.
That night I prayed to God for strength and when I awoke I got a text message on my (very dumb) phone, from home. It was my mother just telling me how proud they were of me, the whole family and that I could have a wonderful future, it was in my hands.
Do you know I want to tell you, I began to understand that day that to progress, to overcome difficulty , it is a kind of test. Nothing good comes without work and effort and you have to work with all your heart and soul to make things happen. It is the opportunity that meant I was so lucky but it was mine to take, and by God I was going to take it.
And as I studied hard, things got so much better I got new friends, I gained in confidence, and I now know who I am.
I am Ranjeet Kumar a boy from the poor end of the village who didn’t even have a pair of sandals until People First bought me some, who now realises he owes so much to others that it is my duty to help others as soon as I am in a position to do so, and I can use my experiences to help others. My whole family will not go hungry ever again in the future. But also I realise that hard work can really change everything, and this you have to do yourself.
So thank you all those who are helping me achieve my dreams, I can never forget what people have done for me, and I never will.
Today the sun is shining!!
Note from Naresh Sir…
After initially struggling Ranjeet improved with his studies so rapidly he ended up top of his class gaining an 83% mark in his final advanced diploma. He is presently studying Spanish and Portuguese up to degree level at JNU University in Delhi, one of the most prestigious public universities in the country.
If you are wondering what the cost is of supporting Ranjeet in his studies in Delhi, it is $50 a week. Every single dollar donated helps students like him.
It is only a lack of funding which prevents us from helping more students like Ranjeet, and we do as you know from previous reports have a very good record under this programme of helping Girl Students.
So thank you all for your support.
I wish you all well,
My name is Naresh Sir and I am in charge of the education programme here at People First. As you know it it is one of our priorities to help and encourage as much as we can the education of girls and for this report I thought I would let just one of them tell their story to you. We have changed the name but nothing else.
Namaste my Dear Friends,
My name is Mamta and I read in Dhobi school in class 8, all our education is provided free and I love my school. Before People First started our school many children of my age (I think I am about 14), just did not go to school at all. Now some girls from my school have gone onto college and I would love to do that also, It is because of the opportunities programme which you have supported I might just get that golden chance.
I am the first girl in my family to be educated, when my parents tried to get me married the headmaster came to my house and spoke to my parents and now they understand and are pleased with my progress. We are very poor, we have no land but my education has given me hope.
Thank you for your support, I won’t let you down, I will always do my best!
I love my school,
With greatest respects,
Please mark July 15th as Bonus Day in your dairy , your donation will go much further!!!
I am Naresh Sir the Director of Education here at People First.
It's the beginning of summer here in Bihar but so far we have been spared the blistering heat.
I want to say it saddens us how the state system has failed so many children and young people here in Bihar. Unqualified teachers , incompetent teaching, corruption, cheating. What a waste of all that talent and potential!
We strive for high standards in our schools and there are very good and expensive (well out of the reach of the poor) private schools , but just because our reach is limited compared to all of Bihar, it does not devalue what we can do.
It is better to do what you can and help those you are able, then to do nothing at all . Just one students success in gaining a good education may not change the system in Bihar but it changes everything for that child and his or her family.
Not only for them but for all their children and their children's children in future generations, and as this is the 28th report I am writing supporters will be aware of our many success stories often told by the students themselves.
This is because of your help , there is a saying save one child and you save the world. Please help us make all the difference in the world to a student today.
The photograph shows students from our school in Dhobi, (offering as with all our schools free education to the poor ) with thier school leaving examinations as every student passed.
Thank you so much,
My name is Naresh Sir And I am Director of Education at People First. I would to thank once again for all your marvellous support. Well, I hope you all you enjoyed the festive season.
I thought it time you heard from a girl helped by the programme, so I asked" Pramila" (see picture above but name changed) to write a little about herself for this report. it was written in Hindi and translated but not a single word was changed apart from the name.Here is her open letter to you all..
Namaste! respected persons of great repute,
My name is Pramilla.
I am about 13 years of age , but I do not know my birthday or birth year. My father is a farmer, we have a little land and I have 3 brothers and two sisters, but I am the first girl in my family to go to school above class 5. I am in class seven . I am so lucky , without the help from people first and the support they give it is very unlikely that I could be here in my classroom, writing to you.
I think it is only right that girls should have same chance as boys, do you know there are villages in Bihar where the local village council do not want girls to dress in western dress or have a mobile phone of their own. It is not like that here. We are being educated and therefore we would fight against such ridiculous notions from men. Education awakens us in more ways than literacy or counting and mathematics.
Your help for this programme does reach to girls like me, without it I could not afford school uniform or books or any tuition this is provided to me free of any cost, so thank you and please continue to reach out and take the hands of girls like me..
I hope you are well and that all your family are well too.
This report contains a students story,
As you know our TOP scheme ( The Opportunity Programme) is not limited to academic ability, but the selection process involves recommendation by teachers , an interview and is very competitive. We asked Santosh Kumar one of our TOP students to write his story for this report. Here it is..
"I was born in Bodhgaya, and my family were very poor but I was always interested in my studies, and attended the nearest people first school from an early age. I had to work at my families market stall selling hats and belts to the tourists and when my father became ill , I had to work even harder.
It was really tough but I am so thankful for all the help and support I got from everyone at People First . I struggled hard, often working late into the night by the light of a lantern, but in-between the market stall and taking responsibility as the oldest son for my father's care, I managed to pass the school leaving examination and I applied for a People First scholarship under the TOP scheme to study full time in Delhi.
My father had improved in his health but there is no way we could afford any kind of further education without help. I got that help , and was able to graduate with a full Diploma in the Spanish language and now I work for an engineering firm with contracts in South America. I may even be working for a while in Venezuela soon.
Thank you for all my sponsors , Global Giving, and everybody here at People First in India for everything you have done for me".
Please help us change young peoples lives for the better forever.
Naresh Sir ( Education Programme Director)
According to the rules we have changed Santosh's name for the purposes of this report but nothing else has been edited these are is his own words.
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