Rupa in her school uniform
Rupa, pictured here, is a sixteen-year-old girl who has benefitted from the activities offered by the project. In the picture she holds a certificate of participation in a science exhibition. Her family includes herself, her parents, and her younger brother and sister. Her father is a daily labourer and her mother works as a domestic help. Due to lack of opportunities after Cyclone Phailin in 2013, they had to relocate to the city in search of a livelihood. Rupa was forced to discontinue her education to take care of her younger siblings who are in the 4th and 6th standards respectively and support her mother in household chores.
The project team met Shikha, Rupa’s younger sister when conducting a survey in her community, later Shikha was supported through remedial education support, and she also passed out with good grades. After being part of the centre for nearly two years, Shikha requested for some support for her sister Rupa, who was studying in Standard 8 when they left the village. However, Rupa was reluctant to return to school to study with children who are much younger than her. Rupa was offered help to re-join school, however upon voicing her hesitation, she was instead offered to attend the remedial classes first, which she accepted.
After few months, Rupa had increased interested and requested for support for her enrollment in Class 9. The Project team visited the High School near her slum, as suggested by the Principal, the team members together with Rupa approached Board of Secondary Education directly. After continuous persuasion her admission procedures were completed. She completed her Class 9th successfully and is now preparing for her board exams for March 2017.
“I learnt a lot from other girls who are studying with me, I dress up neatly and I tend my hair properly too. In the past I was not very tidy about it” Rupa explains. “Staying back at my house, I could have never been able to interact so well, or know of few things like computers. I have a feeling that I can do something and after completing my 10th exam, I can enrol myself in learning skills and will earn on my own to support my parents.” She then poses for a picture.
Ruchika Social Service Organisation has been supporting 979 of these children studying in Class 6, Class 7 and Class 8 through 40 remedial centres. The organisation ensures 100% enrolment of children in school. The children who have difficulty in coping in schools are identified and provided remedial education support through improving their competencies and peer support. This year, all the children performed very well in the annual exams.
Making the kind of commitment it takes to ensure 95% retention of children in school and supporting them in improving their academic proficiency is only possible if support from special individuals and foundations are received, however, in the last quarter the project had not received any resources. These funds are used for paying costs for teaching materials, teacher’s salary and setting up libraries. We request our previous donors to support the project generously and assist us in reaching out to more children like Rupa living in the slums of Bhubaneswar.