BENEFITING: Katahdin Productions
EVENT DATE: Oct 09, 2016
I had nothing to do with girls' education in India or anywhere else. Till Tess Joseph, a friend from Mumbai, called me around Christmas checking if I could help organize some additional support for a girl and her siblings living on the streets in Kolkata, India. Tess, the India producer for Girl Rising, took me to meet Ruksana, her three sisters, her brother, and parents who live in a 10x10 pavement dwelling. That was how I met the star of Girl Rising's India story for the first time and since then have worked with the dedicated Girl Rising team on creating a programme to help the siblings and a dozen other girls, who also live on the streets, to receive quality English education through special classes that are taught by Master's students from top Indian universities. Girl Rising's remedial classes programme for the girls is now in its second year and the girls will soon receive specialised classes in computer literacy.
With the education aspect of the programme going strong, Ruksana would now like to tell her own story in her own words to her peers in other schools and colleges across Calcutta so that they understand the importance of education and how much it helps the girls in becoming self-sustainable and successful in a nation where women are still trying to break the glass ceiling. I am running the Chicago Marathon on October 9 and I would like to use the opportunity to raise enough funds so as to arrange at least 10 screenings of the Girl Rising film in Calcutta's schools, colleges and universities so that Ruksana can tell her own story in her own words and in the process also gain more confidence in dealing and interacting with her peers from a privileged background, for whom education, computer literacy and English proficiency are as basic as air and water.
Ultimately, these screenings will also create more awareness among the priveleged students who could be inspired or moved enough to join this movement.
These funds will help us rent screening locations and equipment, provide transportation and manage logistics for Ruksana, her friends and caretakers who would attend the screenings.