Sarita, Devi and Sangeeta studying
Since our last update, Blossom Bus has been able to accept eight new students into the program due to a few students heading off to college! The Headmaster of a primary school in Rajolaka approached an affiliate with Blossom Bus to see if a few girls from his village could join the program. Fortunately, we said yes! Our Director of Operations, Glenn, visted these new Blossom Bus scholars. This report will share with you the conversations he had with these girls and their families.
Glenn traveled to the remote village of Rajolaka to meet Sarita, Devi, and Sengeeta, three of eight girls who have joined the Blossom Bus.
Sarita is one of six girls in her family. Her father, Sohan Pal explains, “I am not a wealthy man. But I am aware of the importance of education and want my girls to be educated. The bus is helping me to ensure I can send Sarita to school and without which she would surely have dropped out.”
Devi adds, “Our parents are happy for us to continue our education due to having the bus service and will not stop us going to school due to safety and other issues they would otherwise not be comfortable and may withdraw us from school any time.”
Sarita then goes on to say, “We three somehow managed to complete grade nine without the bus but in the most difficult circumstances. We had to walk a kilometre outside the safety of their own village to a larger road and then take a public tempo for 7-8 kms to the main town. During raining season we couldn’t go to school, as our clothes would become drenched. In the summer it’s very hot and very difficult, we had to manage in all seasons in order to remain in school.”
Devi adds, “Our parents are happy for us to continue our education due to having the bus service and will not stop us going to school due to safety and other issues they would other wise not be comfortable and may withdraw us from school any time.”
Manisha pipes in, “I enjoy going on the bus and it’s very important as I want to finish my education. It’s a safe transport and saves us from the bad weather and harassment from boys on the road.”
Glenn then asked the parents and girls about the importance of education and what they will do once they are educated. Manisha tells us, “Education is important as we can get a job and support our families.” Devi remarks further, “Not having education is a curse and we want to get away from that.” The girls where then asked why having no education is a curse and Sangeeta tells us, “Without education we are not aware of our rights and duties, only through education can we learn correct behavior and which we learn from our parents and teachers.” Devi goes on, “We all want to finish year 12 and go to College. Not sure what job we can get but if we finish our education we can work and earn and do something for my family.
Further discussing education, Glenn asked, "How as girls will you be able to leave your villages and go out to work?" They said without hesitation that once they have an education and are grown up, they will acquire confidence and can travel to cities using public transport and even move to cities for work. Another expectation is that educated girls can be married into an educated families in cities and can find good jobs.
Glenn explained that all the parents and villagers present agreed with these sentiments, which gives us hope about the social development of these small villages. Education for these girls will break the ceilings that limit their aspirations. We are delighted to have assisted in this process through the agency of the Blossom Bus.
After meeting the girls in their village and hearing about their struggles to get access to education, Glenn left describing his feelings of joy and deep inspiration. There are millions of girls from villages exactly like this across swathes of rural India that are not attending school for exactly the same reasons as these young scholars. We need to continue connecting the drive for education with the means to get there.
All the families of the three girls thanked Lotus Outreach and its supporters for the tremendous support toward the education of their girl children.
Sarita, Devi and Sangeeta + families in background
Sarita, Devi and Sangeeta