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Help Tanuja

Organized by: Rohit Dosi

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THE STORY:

Most people have stories to tell of their education received in their first 22 years; my story isn't about that luxury, it is one of providing it. My story is about how I gave the latter part of my 22 years to create and continuously improve the education system in a rural village called Mainath, and how that still continues to be a privilege. I began life in Nagpur, Maharashtra. My family consisted of us 3 sisters, my brother, mother and father. Unfortunately my family also consisted of practices that were backward in their thinking such as caste and mostly other conservative ideals regarding women. This part of my family would form some of the most dark and difficult times of my life involving a lack of a decent education for myself, opportunities for my own freedom of livelihood and also getting married at the age of 18 in 1996, Aligarh. I know words like caste, patriarchy and lack of education tend to get overused these days to state problems but these words tend to cloud one's purpose in life, will to live and lose hope. I am being honest when I say I thought of suicide and I am being honest when I say the birth of my son stopped all thoughts of taking my own life thereafter. Motherhood was the spark my life needed; it gave me enough strength to take my son to school daily even when many people opposed it. That was the case until I came across a realisation on one of those walks. I saw few children playing on the road with dirt and begging being their daily priority to make use of themselves; they were of my son's age. I asked myself the question of what was the point submitting to this system, where even schooling for my child only meant he was coming back to a community of discrimination against caste and gender; where domestic violence and lack of education were a part of life, where my child wouldn't realise his own mistakes as he grew up, so I was thankful I could make a change, I could start a school. The first difficulty I faced was the closest one, my family. They couldn't understand why their daughter in law wanted to help children of other "lesser" families go to school, or why women in general should work to their choosing. I believed if the women and children who needed education understood, everyone else would follow. I opened a school for them where we taught for classes up to the 5th standard. The aim was that we would be teaching them to get into the best Government schools for their higher education. With this, the women, most of them mothers, wanted to start getting trained as well. We needed to grow together.Motherhood was the spark my life needed; it gave me enough strength to take my son to school daily even when many people opposed it. That was the case until I came across a realisation on one of those walks. I saw few children playing on the road with dirt and begging being their daily priority to make use of themselves; they were of my son's age. I asked myself the question of what was the point submitting to this system, where even schooling for my child only meant he was coming back to a community of discrimination against caste and gender; where domestic violence and lack of education were a part of life, where my child wouldn't realise his own mistakes as he grew up, so I was thankful I could make a change, I could start a school. The first difficulty I faced was the closest one, my family. They couldn't understand why their daughter in law wanted to help children of other "lesser" families go to school, or why women in general should work to their choosing. I believed if the women and children who needed education understood, everyone else would follow. I opened a school for them where we taught for classes up to the 5th standard. The aim was that we would be teaching them to get into the best Government schools for their higher education. With this, the women, most of them mothers, wanted to start getting trained as well. We needed to grow together. Awareness to the importance of education is not a new thing, but I am one woman who understood its importance through a dark part of life; and when I tell people about my M.Sc in Organic Chemistry or the MBA from IGNOU, I tell them my qualifications. But if you ask anyone at Mainath village, they will tell you what those qualifications mean. Help me make that mean a little bit more, through yours. Till now, I have been able to manage my expenses by help of some people and organizations. As the number of students has increased rapidly, I need your support to upgrade the infrastructure of the school and help these kids and their mothers. I am raising Rs. 1.5 Lacs to get some essential items for the school and the children. Help me in giving these children a chance for education!

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MONEY RAISED
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Organized by

Rohit Dosi

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