Madhu & Manju (far right) pose with their father
For this Blossom Bus report, we asked our splendid India Project Manager, Mr. Suraj Kumar, to interview two of our 300 Blossom Bus girls. Suraj, very sweetly, chose Manju and Manju! Manju from Dhamaka village and Manju from Bhatt Ki village.
Dhamaka’s Manju very joyfully shared:
"I graduated middle school two years ago. With no high school in my village, I had to drop out. My parents didn't allow me to travel to another village to school.
After a year, I heard about a bus for girls to travel to school. My father was hesitant since he is poor and couldn't afford bus fares. After realizing the bus was free, he allowed me to ride it to school.
My sister Madhu and I now ride the Blossom Bus to school. My father would have married us off by now if we weren't attending school.
We both want to graduate high school, and we'll continue to college if we can."
We do hope both Manju and Madhu are able to continue their education into college, and we are committed to continuing providing them safe transportation to and from college.
Bhatt Ki’s Manju gave us a glimpse of truly what a great accomplishment it is for a girl in rural Mewat to graduate high school:
"I am the eldest of five siblings. Two of my brothers are in high school. One of my sisters is in 6th grade, and the youngest is in 2nd grade.
When I finished elementary school, I got enrolled in a middle school 5 km away from my village. The school gave me a bicycle, but my parents were always worried about my safety. They wanted me to stop studying after middle school.
I heard about the Blossom Bus. After I was able to get a seat on the bus I started attending high school and now I'm about to graduate. I'm the first girl in my extended family to reach high school, since we belong to a lower caste.
My father is so happy. He wants me to join the police force after I graduate. He's already preparing me to become a police officer by taking me on a 3 km run every morning."
It's extraordinary how a simple intervention like Blossom Bus can foster such life opportunities to the young women reached by the program, while also bearing an enormous potential to transform the cultural mindset towards female education and the role of women in society. With the recent heartbreaking news of the sisters abused and killed in Uttar Pradesh, it's becoming increasignly evident that the situation Indian women are facing is of universal concern and it demands action. We at Lotus Outreach are deeply grateful for your support of young Indian women through the Blossom Bus sponsorship.
Now, nothing better than hearing these extraordinary young women tell their stories themselves!
To watch the interview with Manju from Dhamaka, go to: https://vimeo.com/96960633
To watch the interview with Manju from Bhatt Ki, go to: https://vimeo.com/96946382
Manju (center, blue scarf) with her mom & siblings