Dhani hails from the pardhi community and is from the Karnataka state. She resides with her family at Kewatevasti, Mhaswad. Her parents sell lemon and chilies and also work as daily-wage laborers and stone-breaking work. Dhani has two sisters and three brothers. Her sisters also help the parents by selling lemons & chilies. As the people of this community do not stay in one place for long, they get deprived of proper education and other government scheme benefits. They do not have a ration card, voter ID card, etc. Mann Deshi felt that these children should be brought into the mainstream of society and be given their due. We met Dhani and asked her to visit Mann Deshi’s sports ground for practicing running. On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, 2022, Dhani and her sister Sakina were given bicycles to come and practice on the field. Mann Deshi Champions also took the initiative of enrolling Dhani and her siblings at the Zilla Parishad School Mhaswad so that they are not deprived of education. Now, Dhani and her siblings go to school every day. “My siblings and myself go to school every day now and we are happy,” says Dhani.
‘I want to study well and be a police officer one day’ - says Anuradha
A resident of Shirtav village in Satara, Anuradha is currently studying in Std. 12th. Her parents are goat farmers and also work as daily wage laborers. She has two sisters and two brothers. With the meager income that her parents earn, her parents find it difficult to manage the expenses. The Mann Deshi Foundation’s Mann Deshi Champions program reaches out to the talented kids from the financially-weak families in rural areas and encourages them to hone their talent in the field of sports. When Anuradha came to know of Mann Deshi Champions, she started visiting the organization’s sports ground on a daily basis for running practice. The sports ground is about 4-5 km away from her village, while her school is about 5km from her home. She would go walking to both school and the sports ground and would get very tired till the evening. After noticing her dedication to running, the Mann Deshi Foundation gifted her a bicycle. Anuradha was happy to receive the bicycle. Now, she uses the bicycle for coming to the ground and also for going to her school. She saves time now and can focus on her studies as well as can help her mother in housework. “I want to study well and be a police officer one day,” says Anuradha.
A student of 9th Std., Sakshi lives with her family in Dhokmod. Her school is about 2 km from her house and she goes walking. After coming back, she has to help her mother in doing household work. Her father works as a daily-wage laborer in other people’s fields and thus, the family’s financial situation is weak. As her school is far, it takes time for her to reach home, and her parents get worried for her. Sakshi aims to be a police officer and thus gives importance to education. However, daily walking to-and-fro tires her and she always wished she had a way of commuting to school. Her dream came true when the Mann Deshi Foundation gifted her a bicycle. “Now, I am able to save my time and can focus on my studies.” she says.
I'm very happy that I got a bicycle. Now, I can focus on school and studies.
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