Wednesday 15 November 2017
It is terribly sad to note that even today our Indian society is marked by deep-rooted gender inequality with preference for a son over a daughter being an acceptable notion. When Ashu, youngest of seven daughters was born, her parents very extremely unhappy as they had been expecting a son. As the girl grew up, she often received ill-treatment from her parents and had to deal with a lack of care and attention. She was enrolled in school but no importance was given to her education. At the age of 12, Ashu was made to drop out as her parents believed that educating her will yield nothing good.
The team from Save the Children-run Mobile Learning Centre in her area, an urban slum in Kolkata, identified Ashu as an out-of-school child. Our team reached out to her parents who were counselled and made to understand the difference education will make in Ashu’s future. After several rounds of reasoning, the girl's parents agreed to send Ashu to our Mobile Learning Centre(MLC): a bus transformed into classroom and visited her slum every evening. The "bridge learning" Ashu undertook at the MLC helped her get reconnected with academics.
We did not stop at this. After a few months, our team got Ashu re-enrolled in school. Today, Ashu is 14-year-old and reads in class 8th. She is regular at the Mobile Learning Centre in her area as it helps her with her studies after school. The sessions at the MLC enlightened and nurtured her about her rights as a child. She has been participating in several workshops organised by Save the Children on child rights. She has now become a 'Change Maker' for children in her slum and ensures that she reaches out to every school dropout and help them get back into the fold education with the help of Save the Children's MLC.