From a dropout to a role model!

The line goes – “When you educate a man, you educate an individual and when you educate a woman, you educate an entire family” – and in fact, education is the only tool with which a girl or a woman can empower herself and eventually her family.

However, in a country like India, poverty often decides whether a girl can continue her education or not. Such is Sumi Godsora’s story as well.

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The India Behind The Smiling Faces

‘O My God! I cannot eat this food’, ‘O My God! I cannot go to college everyday’, ‘O My God! How can I live without the AC?’ Sounds familiar? Surely does to many of us because we grew up taking things for granted and why not when we have seen only a very small part of the world and chose to neglect the not so happy realities. Hallelujah! It is time we start appreciating.

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Sona’s Schoolcoming

“I miss my father. I was about seven when he passed away. And everything kept on getting tougher. My mother would cry a lot. Some days we would eat just once in the whole day. I have four brothers and three sisters. All of us started farming in the small piece of land we had. My mother too goes away for days. She goes to the big nearby cities where she works as a farm labourer. I used to stay at home with my sisters and helped them in the household chores. I was good in studies but had to drop out when I was in second standard.”

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Tiny Shoulders, Big Burdens

The day of the community cultural programme was a busy day for all the kids in the Sonari slum area of Jamshedpur. But, the busiest of them all was the lanky teenage boy- Ganesh, who’d masterminded the whole event.

Ever since Adarsh Seva Sansthan (ASES), a grassroots level non-profit supported by CRY had started work in this slum adjoining the city’s airport; things have been taking a turn for the better. ASES aims to provide a fair, healthy world to the underprivileged children and to bring them to the mainstream where they could have a happy childhood. And, the project’s impact on this colony is actually visible, with there being a real difference in the way the community comes together and takes on responsibilities.

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Books, bricks and a lot more…

 

One of the hardest things to do is break the truth to a child about how the world isn’t as rosy as they are told it is. These words often come from loved ones, parents, family and friends, but when it comes to harsh realities that these very individuals would never wish upon children, they risk raising them in an environment of ignorance. In matters like this, it is up to total strangers to do the needful, often at the expense of seeming purely informative and emotionally removed from the equation.

In an attempt akin to the above, members of the Intern team, here at CRY West, set off to Phoenix Marketcity Kurla, a major shopping centre in east Mumbai to engage with visitors through a few interesting interactions on the occasion of World Against Child Labour Day.

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Back on the right track!

At 14 years, when most school kids are obsessed with movies and friends and gossip, Anitha had her head on a completely different set of things – grazing the landlord’s cattle and doing his household chores. And this would have been her life – a story of untapped potential and lost childhood – if the CRY supported project, Association for Social Economical Educational Cultural Health and Environment Development (PEOPLE) hadn’t rescued her from the venomous fangs of child labour.

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Helping Victims of Child Slavery and Giving Them a New Life

A phone call at the dead of the night is seldom good news. However, for the Aimol* family what followed was not only shocking but also something that would change their lives forever. Their daughter Julie* had bagged a job opportunity abroad the month before and the family had been ecstatic. The employment agency had taken her and seven other girls. The family was waiting for good fortune to unfold. Little did they know that the reality would be dark, dangerous and gloomy. Julie and the other girls were taken to Myanmar, where their identity documents were forged and then to Singapore. They realised they had no clue about their final destination. As luck would have it, they were forced to lodge in a hotel in Yangon enroute to Singapore. Luckily, Julie managed to call home from there.

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Protecting the Children from Abuse and Creating a Happy Future

The sessions at Diksha (a CRY partner) are generally a very cheerful affair. The children are usually chirping with excitement and wonder – playing, participating and engaged in activities. But in one corner was Bipasha – an adolescent girl who had been attending the sessions for almost a couple of years on and off, would not talk at all. She listens to and observes each session carefully but when it came to participating, she would hardly open up.

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