“That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value,” said Thomas Paine, an American politician, philosopher and revolutionary. The words, which were originally used during the American Revolution to inspire the Americans in their battle for freedom from the British Army, are profound and are relevant even today.
Ask Mansi and Nancy, two little girls residing in slums near Wazirpur Industrial Area how difficult their journey The ever-exuberant Mansi came out with flying colourshad been — from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment! Education was something they never thought of even in their dream of dreams. Yes, they had seen several children going to school every day, dressed in same attire, with glowing faces and a unique spark, conspicuously absent in their lives. That was something not meant for them.
Many a times little Nancy had asked her mother, “Why can’t I go to school?” The ignorant mother had promptly replied, “What would you do there? School is meant only for the rich and for the boys. You are a girl; better concentrate on household work. One day you will be married off. Education won’t spare you from responsibilities a girl has to share.” Mansi had a similar response from her parents when she talked about going to school.
The desire, the urge, the yearning to study remained embedded in their hearts. One day, they saw a few people from Deepalaya visited their place for a survey regarding non-going school children. They overheard the conversation they had with their parents. They could hardly hold the joy as their parents had agreed to send Inquisitive Nancy with her report cardthem for basic education. The regular counseling sessions had brought a sea-change in their parents’ attitude towards girl child education.
If they could not go to school, the school came to their place. Next day, they found themselves in a learning centre, specially meant for educating children, who never went to school or left school midway. Initially they took some time to familiarize themselves with the environment. The technique followed by the learning centre had a long lasting impact. Above all, mewsic classes on alternate days are a real attraction.
Their curiosity supplemented by the caressing attitude of teachers helped them in learning things quickly. After reviewing their performance over a period of a few months, Mansi and Nancy were mainstreamed to nearby Municipal School. They bagged 2nd and 3rd positions in Class I Examinations respectively. Thanks to Deepalaya and Intrepid foundation, their dreams have really come true.
Mansi and Nancy regularly attend Remedial Education classes as the Municipal school they attend lack the kind of support and love Deepalaya offers! And of course the Mewsic classes have added the much needed colour and the spark they yearned for.