Stories Of Change

DEBASMITA

"In the slum where I live, many parents are worried about their children's education. Poverty and circumstances have forced us to always live from hand to mouth. Many girls could not study beyond class 8. My father is a tailor and the last two years, he did not have a job, owing to the pandemic. My mother, a housewife, had to work...

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pradip

“We have a small boat now. But when I grow up, I will buy a big ship, and ask amma and appa to rest.” Pradip’s parents make a living through boat riding in a small village of Khammam, Telangana, barely earning Rs. 3000 a month....

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SHIVI

"Mother is happy and says if I study well and get a good job, she will not have to work." So eager is this little girl to ease the burden of her mother that she has already promised to work very hard and she does so too. She goes to school every day and finishes all her work in time.

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RITU

"I study in a school and I like being here a lot" These words bring so much encouragement for a society such as ours where school dropouts and illiteracy have increased more than ever. Ritu studies in class 3 in the Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in Gurgaon.

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SONU

"After the death of my father, my brother wanted to me to drop studies and start working as a sweeper like my mother. When I refused, he sent me to the village to be married off."

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Lavanaya

"Some people say I am unlucky. My father went away when I was born, and later my mother died in an accident. But I think I am very lucky – because I got a second mother. Just when I felt I had been orphaned and had no one to love me, Maa brought me to my new home. She is my mother's cousin sister.

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ROOHI

I want to help my father and mother because my father is always sick. The story of Roohi is a sad one. Her father met with an accident some years back and is totally bed ridden and her mother works in the nearby households to earn money but whatever she...

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MANVI

I will learn dance and perform in the Annual Function this time. Mother will be so happy to see me.” This is 6 year old Manvi’s New Year Resolution. With her father working as a fruit seller and mother as a maid and a family which comprised of Mnvi’s...

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GAURI AND RUPALI

"We both want to work hard and become teachers and help other children like us read and write." This dream of Gauri and Rupali, both sisters is very soon going to come true as both of them study hard at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in BHT (KALYAN),

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THANUJA

A 10 year old jovial and ambitious Thanuja was made to drop out of school by her parents. But this young girl fought to achieve what was rightfully hers.

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NEHA

“My father used to sell vegetables, but during the pandemic everything closed down and he was at home. It came to a point where we would eat only once a day to save enough food for the next day. The school was shut down too, and I was not sure if I would ever go back to my studies again. Then one day, Teacher Ji came to our home and...

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PURNIMA

Both my brothers and I go to school together now and also have our meals together now. I have my own happy stories now. Earlier Purnima, her two brothers Som and Shubh and her grandparents, who these three children stay with, lead a life of despair and poverty.

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GANGADHAR

There were days when we could not eat at all. We used to struggle every day. Gangadhar’s father passed away when he was very young. After his father’s demise everyday was a struggle for them and as a result they moved to Hyderabad city.

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KUDDUS ALI

His early job was picking up rags and doing odd jobs. Earning two square meals a day was his only goal. His parents had big dreams for him, but poverty stopped them from dreaming any bigger.

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ADIL

Born to an unwed mother, orphaned immediately after birth and saved by a eunuch. This is not a plot from a Hindi blockbuster film but the real story Adil.

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Debasmita

“In the slum where I live, many parents are worried about their children’s education. Poverty and circumstances have forced us to always live from hand to mouth. Many girls could not study beyond class 8. My father is a tailor and the last two years, he did not have a job, owing to the pandemic. My mother, a housewife, had to work as a maid to make ends meet. Like many, I was also on the brink of dropping out from school. Had I not received the scholarship, it would have been almost impossible for me to continue with my education. I want to study science, pursue Biotechnology. And I want to help girls in my community complete their education.”

Debasmita is a recipient of Smile Foundation’s merit-based scholarship that is helping her continue her education.

Pradip

“We have a small boat now. But when I grow up, I will buy a big ship, and ask amma and appa to rest.”

Pradip’s parents make a living through boat riding in a small village of Khammam, Telangana, barely earning Rs. 3000 a month. As he grew up, Pradip too started accompanying his parents on their daily rides and would do odd jobs for people, earning a few extra rupees.

It took nearly three years of counseling and countless door to door visits by teachers from Mission Education at Telengana to convince Pradip’s parents to send him to school. They had not wanted to part with the little additional income that he had started bringing in. But in the end, when Pradip insisted, they could not say no to their son.

Now when Pradip goes with his parents on the boat rides and they hear him talking in English with the tourists, they can’t stop smiling. He has also started teaching some English words to his parents to help them deal better with the tourists.

shivi

Mother is happy and says if I study well and get a good job, she will not have to work.

So eager is this little girl to ease the burden of her mother that she has already promised to work very hard and she does so too. She goes to school every day and finishes all her work in time.

Earlier Shivi used to work with her mother doing household chores for other people for a little amount of money. She did not even have time to play. An intervention by Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program changed her life completely. She now studies in class 3 of Mission Education’s centre in Noida. She is a bright student and her favorite subject is drawing. Both her mother and she are happy that she is going to school and enjoying it there.

Ritu

I study in a school and I like being here a lot

These words bring so much encouragement for a society such as ours where school dropouts and illiteracy have increased more than ever. Ritu studies in class 3 in the Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in Gurgaon. Her father abandoned her mother, her and his son two years ago and to earn to eat she was sent to work as a domestic help in a house while her mother worked in a factory.

Upon much convincing by the teachers of the Mission Education program her brother was sent to school but not her. It took another round of counseling g for her mother to finally agree to send Ritu to school. She now attends school every day and enjoys learning and playing in school.

SONU

After his mother’s death Sonu began to take care of his family of two brothers and father. Cooking, cleaning, washing; he did everything. Even though he wanted to study he could not because he had to be the caretaker at home.

Sonu was in class 7 when his mother expired. He had to dropm out of school to take care of his younger brothers. His father is a daily wage earner who works in the farms of Hathi Basti in the Yamuna Lines. Sonu’s day would start early as he had to do all the household chores.

Sonu was identified during a community mobilization drive by Mission Education program of Smile Foundation. His father was counseled and he was enrolled in the Mission Education centre Samarpan along with both of his brothers. Sonu does not have to cook food everyday now as the centre provides breakfast and lunch to them and so that Sonu can go home and study the centre also packs dinner for his family and sends it with him. Now studying in class 7, Sonu is a promising kid. He works hard and is determined to become a Police Officer someday.

Lavanya

“Some people say I am unlucky. My father went away when I was born, and later my mother died in an accident. But I think I am very lucky – because I got a second mother. Just when I felt I had been orphaned and had no one to love me, Maa brought me to my new home. She is my mother’s cousin sister. I got my own sister in her daughter Shobha. We have grown up together, go to the same school, and share everything with each other. Shobha’s father died five years ago. Since then, Maa has been working in the factory. There is never enough food at home, but whatever we eat, she always divides equally between me and Shobha. I do not remember much about my mother. But Maa makes sure we always take her name in prayer. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to had I not met her.”

Lavanya and Shobha both study in Class 4 at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in Hyderabad.

Roohi

I want to help my father and mother because my father is always sick.

The story of Roohi is a sad one. Her father met with an accident some years back and is totally bed ridden and her mother works in the nearby households to earn money but whatever she earns half of it is spent on the medicines her father needs.

It was Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program that was able to rescue Roohi from her poor conditions and give a direction to her life. She now studies in class 4 in the Mission Education Centre in Maxvision, Gurgaon. Her dream is to become a teacher and Mission Education is helping her realize her dream.

Manvi

I will learn dance and perform in the Annual Function this time. Mother will be so happy to see me.” This is 6 year old Manvi’s New Year Resolution

With her father working as a fruit seller and mother as a maid and a family which comprised of Mnvi’s grandparents and her aunt they never had enough to eat, let alone think about educating Manvi or sending her to school. A surprise visit by the teachers of Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in Noida bought about a huge change in Manvi’s life. The girl who once had no knowledge about alphabets or numbers now can read, write and recite poems in Hindi and English and studies in class 2 in the Mission Education centre, Noida. She is a quick learner and her parents too have shown enthusiasm by attending parent-teacher meetings regularly.

Gauri & Rupali

We both want to work hard and become teachers and help other children like us read and write.

This dream of Gauri and Rupali, both sisters is very soon going to come true as both of them study hard at Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre in BHT (KALYAN), Mumbai, Maharashtra. Both of them earlier used to take care of the household chores as their parents were off to work at the brick kiln, as daily wage earners.

Encouraged by the teachers of the Mission Education program the parents started to send the children to the centre. Both willingly attend all the classes and the parents also do not miss any of the parent-teacher meetings and are keeping a close track of their children’s academics. Like Gauri and Rupali 250 other students are also receiving quality education in the same centre.

Thanuja

A 10 year old jovial and ambitious Thanuja was made to drop out of school by her parents. But this young girl fought to achieve what was rightfully hers.

A 10 year old jovial and ambitious Thanuja was made to drop out of school by her parents. But this young girl fought to achieve what was rightfully hers.

Thanuja’s mother keeps very unwell, leaving her husband alone to win bread for the family. Thanuja’s father works in a medical shop, earning only Rs 3500/- per month. More than half of the amount is drained out in the medical treatment of Thanuja’s mother. And with what remains month’s proceedings become difficult, leaving the family in hand to mouth condition. In this situation educational expenditure of two children was a burden.

Thanuja was made to stop going to school immediately after she successfully passed the 2nd grade. Her parents took educating the son as priority. And Thanuja was asked to do the household chores to support her ailing mother. Hurt with this Thanuja tried reasoning with her father. But Thanuja’s wish was not considered.

But Thanuja did not give up. She picked up books from her friends. Along with carrying out domestic work Thanuja started studying at home.

Her determination was spotted by Smile Foundation. They counseled her parents on the importance of education for girl child also. The councilors advised her parents to enroll Thanuja in the Mission Education centre run by Lepakshi Educational Society in the area which they did.

Thanuja is in 5th standard now. She regularly attends her classes in centre and even helps her mother in the household chores. Thanuja and her parents are grateful to Smile Foundation for the opportunity that was given to her.

Neha

“My father used to sell vegetables, but during the pandemic everything closed down and he was at home. It came to a point where we would eat only once a day to save enough food for the next day.

The school was shut down too, and I was not sure if I would ever go back to my studies again. Then one day, Teacher Ji came to our home and explained that from now on they will organize classes in the village temple. Only 8-10 children would attend the class at one time and everyone had to wear masks.

I had been ready to give up at that time but that visit from my teacher and the cluster classes that started happening became my only hope. Now the school has opened again, my father too has resumed work. And I am working hard towards achieving my dreams.”

Neha, Student at Mission Education centre in Alwar, Rajasthan hopes of a better future amidst the odd circumstances.

Purnima

Both my brothers and I go to school together now and also have our meals together now. I have my own happy stories now.

Earlier Purnima, her two brothers Som and Shubh and her grandparents, who these three children stay with, lead a life of despair and poverty. Her mother and father worked in Delhi and used to send some money every month. She usually used to take care of the household chores and her brothers. Seeing all her friends go to school and talk about it she also longed to go to school someday.

It was through her friends that Mission Education Program of Smile Foundation came to know about Purnima and her brothers. After much discussions and talks with her grandparents Purnima was finally admitted at the centre. She currently studies in class 6, her brother Shubh is in class 3 and another of her brother Som will come to class 1. Very soon their hard work and dreams are going to bear fruit and they are going to be successful.

gangadhar

There were days when we could not eat at all. We used to struggle every day.

Gangadhar’s father passed away when he was very young. After his father’s demise everyday was a struggle for them and as a result they moved to Hyderabad city. Even moving to the city did not help much. When Gangadhar’s mother brought him to Smile Foundation’s Mission Education centre, Karuna he was malnourished, anemic and weak. He hardly ever talked to anybody and hardly paid any attention in class.

The teachers did not lose hope and continuously supported him and encouraged him. He has improved a lot now both health wise and in his education. His mother is very happy to see all the positive changes in him.

Kuddus Ali

His early job was picking up rags and doing odd jobs. Earning two square meals a day was his only goal. His parents had big dreams for him, but poverty stopped them from dreaming any bigger.

Ali is 12 years old and lives in Hafijnagar,Bamunimaidan in Guwahati, Assam. His father is a daily wage earner. Ali spent most of his childhood in picking up rags to help his father in making both ends meet. Ali was a bright child from the beginning. His parents wanted to educate him but their situation was such that they could only dream.

The opening of a Mission Education centre in their area was a relief for them. Ali was one of the first to enroll in the centre. Ali’s progress is remarkable as he is a hardworking and a bright student. His parents, teachers and his neighbors are proud of him.

ADIL

Born to an unwed mother, orphaned immediately after birth and saved by a eunuch. This is not a plot from a Hindi blockbuster film but the real story Adil.

Born to an unwed mother, orphaned immediately after birth and saved by a eunuch. This is not a plot from a Hindi blockbuster film but the real story Adil.

Adil’s mother left her new-born boy by a street probably because she was afraid to face the society. The baby was lying on road crying. Hundreds of people noticed the crying baby, but it was Salma a eunuch picked the baby and took him to her small house in Khapri, Mumbai. Salma named the little boy Adil and started raising him as a son. Adil became the world for Salma. Days were passing and Adil was growing. She wanted to bring all the happiness in his life. She wanted to send Adil to school.

But her poor financial condition was a problem and kept worring her. It was during a counseling session conducted by Smile Foundation in the locality that Salma came to know about a bridge course centre of Smile Foundation. She visited the centre and discussed her problems and concerns. Smile advised Salma to get Adil enrolled in Navjyoti School free of any cost, located within the campus of Navjeevan village.

Adil has recently turned 12. And has passed the seventh standard with flying colours. It has been 8 years since Adil has joined the Mission Education centre. He is a multi-talented and jovial kid and is popular among his peers. He takes part in all curricular and academic activities. He aspires to become a pilot of the India Air Force.