“Kiran is one of the best in my team”, says Kiran’s line manager in Eureka Forbes, Mumbai. Ask Kiran about this and all she will do is smile and perhaps shy away if poked too much. Though mostly confident and determined, you get a glimpse of the shy and timid girl that she was till some time back; but that is only when she is not on her job.
Kiran is the eldest of her four sisters and lives with her parents in Bhagat Singh Nagar, Goregaon, Mumbai. Kiran’s father, a contract carpenter, as the sole bread winner for the family of six had duly sent her daughters to the municipality school and ensured that they complete at least their class XII education. But after that, the family started facing very tight financial situations. Kiran wanted to help her father in supporting the family, but could not find a suitable job.
It was during one of the regular community mobilization drives, that Kiran came across the Smile Twin e-Learning Programme.
She told her father about it and enrolled herself for the course. It was only a matter of 6 months, and Kiran found herself as an employee of the Eureka Forbes sales team in Mumbai, fetching a decent salary for her family.
Though she attributes her success to the spoken English, computer skills, personality development and soft skills that she learnt in STeP; but the truth is, her love for her family and her determination to give them a better life already had her as a winner.
Kiran is now ensuring that her sisters pursue higher studies, something that she always wanted to do herself.
Orphaned at the age of three, when our parents are our only connect with the world! This is the story of Pawan’s life.
Pawan kept getting sent to his uncles and aunts for a proper raising, but because of their own suffering economic conditions, nobody kept him for more than a month. For years he was shuffled between the relatives. At the age of seven he was finally sent to his elder brother, who was a gardener with a renowned builder in Gurgaon. For the next four years, Pawan took care of the household chores in the morning and went to an afternoon school where he was provided with a mid-day meal and shelter enabling him to return only after his brother was back from work. This process, though ideal to keep them going, was not good enough for someone like Pawan, who was nurturing an ambitious dream! He was aspiring to be a commando.
Soon after this Pawan got enrolled in a nearby Smile Foundation center. This paved a way for him to aspire and achieve his goals. He was very soon mainstreamed at DPS Gurgaon because of his expertise and excellence. Pawan is now about to complete his eighth grade in both – at school and at Smile Foundation’s remedial center where he received remedial educational support. He attends school during the day and goes to the Smile center in the evening. His eyes shine & twinkle with happiness and satisfaction that he is on the way to his aspiration of being a commando. He is also being trained to play cricket at an academy in Gurgaon. He is applauded at all school events for his elocution and dramatic skills
Smile Foundation is very proud to have a student like Pawan under its care.
Sita is a widow with two children, living in the Kilakona slum of Varanasi. Just like the maximum population inhabiting the slum, she also is a daily wage labour in the coal processing unit situated just behind the slum. The slum inhabits over 6000 people and suffers severe dust and air pollution because of the coal processing unit. This pollution causes severe ailments in the residents. To add to this, absence of proper sanitation and low accessibility to any medical facility has been deteriorating the health conditions of the community dwellers.
Both her children are grown ups and work outside Varanasi, thus leaving Sita all alone to take care of herself. Sita had first visited Smile on Wheels (SoW) accompanied by a neighbor of hers. It was this neighbor, who had suggested Sita to visit the SoW, in order to get her ailments treated. Sita mentioned about severe and frequent headaches, dizziness, joint pains and a persistent weakness. The SoW team conducted a few tests on her and found that she was suffering from high blood pressure, weakness and arthraglia. She was given medicines, a simple diet chart to follow and was shown some physical exercises to be done regularly to improve her joint pains. She was also asked to visit the SoW regularly for some time.
Within a matter of just three months Sita was relieved of her acute pain in the joints that had almost immobilized her for a long time. Her blood pressure is also under control and she feels healthier now. She keeps telling everyone how Smile on Wheels changed her life and keeps telling people to visit the mobile hospital for regular health check ups.
No amount of money can compensate the Smile of a child in the educational process. In the present day system of high sophistication and specialization, there is an unprecedented demand for effective teachers to lead the multitudes of school children on the path of enrichment and progress embedded with values. Delhi Public School in general and DPS Kalinga in particular aims at values and consider them to be important and action and feeling. The values not only determine the aims but these are helpful to decide about the means to achieve those aims. Values determine the choice men make and the ends they live for. At DPS Kalinga we greet our children have just added a few drops to the wide ocean of Smile Foundations.
You have miles to go before you sleep,
Because the woods are dark and deep
May you succeed in promoting and catalyzing universal education
And continue to empower the underprivileged children
Ms. Girija Chand, Principal-DPS Kalinga