- 22 June, 2017
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Looking at my courtyard filled with young children eager to learn ,my daughter and wife working selflessly to help them out , I am filled with pride and happiness .
My wife and I could have never imagined this life for my child a few years back….
My job as a mason is risky and one fateful day I had a fall which left me bed ridden for months. In this situation we couldn’t help but worry about the future of our daughters. My wife and I used to spend hours discussing what we can do to ensure our daughters have a good future. The family savings were already scarce because we spent almost 66 thousand on Vasavi’s Intermediate education. Despite my meagre income, educating our daughters was always our priority. We spent 350 Rs. per month to send Vasavi to school in an auto. We even bought her a cycle for her to continue her studies comfortably. But the situation after my fall was grim. We could not afford to pay the fees for her degree college .
I remember all the hardships she went through to finish her Intermediate. She had studied in Telugu till 10th and had to cope up with English as her medium of instruction along with Physics, Chemistry and Maths. One day she came crying to us and said she cannot study in English medium anymore. However, we were confident that she will do very well and encouraged her to continue. She went for tuitions and came back home late in the night. Fearing for her safety I used to drop her to school and pick her up.
She didn’t let us down. She passed Intermediate, our happiness knew no bound. We always wanted our daughters to study well and settle down .But back then I was lying helplessly in my bed with no means to earn a living. We could not thing of any solution but to ask Vasavi to drop out of college. We wanted her to get married so that she can have a good life.
But our brave daughter Vasavi had other plans. She kept pleading us to let her continue studies. But despite our best intentions we couldn’t arrange for money to pay her fees. In this time of desperation, Compassionate Rural Association for Social Action (CRASA) came to our rescue. They arranged for a scholarship and convinced us to let Vasavi join Degree College. She made the best possible use of this opportunity not only to learn but also share her knowledge with other children of the village .
The problem here is that many children don’t understand lessons in the classroom and thus lose interest in studies. They cannot afford private tuition classes. Since their parents are illiterate they are unable to teach their children. Vasavi wanted to help other children like her study .So, she regularly participated in activities in the child collective. She also decided to conduct free tuition classes for children studying in classes 6 to 10.
She used the small space available in front of our house .Within a few days, the word of my daughter’s excellent teaching spread .Many children started attending the tuition classes. Even primary school children joined. Teaching more than 30 children became difficult for Vasavi. This was when her mother decided to help her by taking classes for primary school children.
Within three months, their efforts started paying off. Children who were just average in studies started getting good marks in the school exams. One girl stood second in her class and first among the girls. Vasavi now conducts tuition classes for high school children after coming home from college. She teaches them all subjects and helps them with their home-work assignments. The headmaster told me that children have become more regular to school and they are able to understand the lessons well. I am sure this will help more children stay in schools and no child in the village will get married before getting educated.
We are delighted that our struggles to educate Vasavi are benefiting the entire village. Dr. Tharror rightly said “If you educate a boy, you educate a person, but if you educate a girl, you educate a family and benefit an entire community”.