At a time when there is so much sad and depressing news around the world, I'm delighted to tell you about two beautiful kids who have been helped by Project help India. Imran aged 12 and nine year old Asma, both attend our new school in Village Dalernagar which opened last month. For these kids the past few weeks have been a life transforming experience.
Imran a 12 year old boy, born to a Muslim family of the Gujjar community. His father’s name is Mr. Gulam Rasool and his mother’s name is Mrs. Reshma Khatun. He has a younger brother, Rihan, and a younger sister, Afreen. He lives in a mud house in the middle of a jungle. Imran was once a disobedient, naughty and undisciplined child. He spent his days sleeping, fighting and roaming around, and was famous among the villagers for all the wrong reasons. He has never been to any school or has ever learned to read and write. When the education centre was opened, he was among the first intake. He has been greatly inspired by his teacher Dilshad and his lessons. Once described as a very naughty boy, Imran is now the first to get to class. He tries his best to learn all new things and he enthusiastically participates in all of the activities. He listens to the teacher with curiosity and concentration. The teacher and his parents have observed significant positive changes in Imran. He now wakes up early and revises the lessons taught. He is now rarely involved in fights. …’this once known delinquent has now turned into a decent and hard-working student’. *
Imran’s family expresses gratitude and immense happiness for all the positive changes and growth of their son. They thank Project Help India for bringing education in their village and in the lives of children.
Asma is a 9 year old girl who lives with her family in the middle of the jungles of Dalenagar. She is the youngest sister among her 4 siblings. Her father Mr.Samshad rears cattle and sells milk, while her mother Mrs Aamna is a housewife. Asma is a cheerful, ambitious and energetic girl who from a young age, has shown interest in learning, saying if only she could go to school.
Asma was always interested in playing with books and fascinated by their pictures. Once, her elder brother went to a school in another city and he came back on the holidays. He sometimes brought books back home to give to his little sister. As Asma grew she was not only interested in playing with the books but she also tried to read them. Her dream of learning and to be able to read was only a dream because there was no school in her village or the surrounding area. Little did Asma know her dream was about to come true.
Asma was head over heels when she heard that Project Help India was opening a school in her village, She had to wait for 9 years to begin her education and to live her dream. Asma is the one of the most active, intelligent students in her class. She comes to class daily and never misses any work given by her teacher. She completes all her homework and classwork on time. Asma has started recognising the alphabet in her books and she eagerly awaits the time for when she will start reading and understanding.
Asma says that she hopes to become a teacher one day, to be able to help other children like her. ‘Her eyes shine with happiness when she talks about going to school and she thanks Project Help India for helping her to take the first step towards her dream’. *
For both Imran and Asma, their eyes are beaming with happiness and they have a great sense of pride. I'm so proud of them too!
What is needed for these kids to go to school
None of our students pay to attend a Project Help Centre. It is thanks to our supporters, who make all of this possible. Currently, it costs approximately $30 a month to pay for a child’s education and meals, and approximately $40 a month to pay for a child’s education and meals at our Slum Disability Centre in Kotdwara. (This cost is currently rising due to a significant increase in the price of food.) This is why we need your ongoing support. If you don't already, would you consider making an annual tax-deductible donation of $360 or $480 to cover the costs associated with a child’s education? Your donation has a very big impact.
Some background information about these kids and where they live
Project Help India has brought education to these kids, and their community in Northern India, for the very first time . As with our three other schools close by, the location of Village Dalernagar is incredibly remote. This community is isolated due to the mountainous terrain, dense jungle, poor roads, extreme heat in summer, monsoon floods and landslides. A motorbike ride to the closest local school (approximately 20 kilometres away) is not possible for these families that live in poverty.
The main source of income for the families in this village is cattle rearing and the selling of milk. These families barely make enough money to survive. They only live with the most basic of basics. There are no healthcare facilities close by. In case of a medical emergency the people have to wait for the next morning to travel to the nearby city of Kotdwara. Without a school there is also little for the children to do. They spend their time sleeping, roaming or working for their family. Teens and pre-teens are particularly at risk of harmful behaviours due to little supervision or monitoring. The traditional practice of Guana, the early marriage of girls from age 13, is also followed by many families.
*quoted from ‘Project Help India’ Field Officer’s report (July 22)