Fourteen-year-old Sushma lives with her father, mother and brother in a small room in a resettlement colony in Devli village, Delhi. Her family migrated from Madhubani, Bihar in search of livelihood. Sushma’s father could not complete the graduation course as economic hardships forced him to drop out after the first year in Bihar. This has limited his capacity to earn and provide for his family, but he has always pursued the dream of ensuring his children receive decent education.
Sushma is enthusiastic and bright. She wants to be a doctor and focuses on studying science subjects when doing her homework. But she did not always hope to realise her dreams. After interacting with the Shikshaantra team, Sushma’s mother agreed to let her attend the Shikshaantra program. She was so convinced of the concept that she decided to break the orthodox mindset of the society around her and enrolled Sushma. She has now been a part of the program for 5 years.
“I needed someone to escort me to the centre when I first joined. Over the last 5 years, I have learnt a lot of new things,” says Sushma. “My speaking skills have improved significantly and I am no longer the silent, shy child I used to be. Today, I represent the organization at various forums and have even participated in art and cultural activities.”
“The environment is very lively. The extracurricular activities, summer camps and mid-day meals compel me to keep coming back. I like the teachers the most. They are always available and are far better faculty than any other schools nearby. They listen to me and so I do not hesitate to share my problems with them or the counsellors.”
Sushma is blessed with parents who believe in providing education, for both, their son and daughter. The opportunity to be a part of the Shikshaantra Program has been life-changing for her, which is why she now motivates other children to join the program.
*This project is a part of Swatantrata Shikshantra Tribunal School program supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group