Ishita* is 10-year-old girl in class 3 of Gyanshala in Farrukhabad. Ishita is one of the students that has benefited immensely from our programme. Like most of her classmates, Ishita joined Gyanshala in class 1 and since then has been steadily growing and graduating to move to higher classes.
“I love going to school and my favourite subject is Hindi. I struggle a little with English, but I like all subjects.”
She is especially proud of her ability to do maths and help. She can even use her father’s mobile to dial numbers or play games. She likes watching TV with her sisters, but unlike her sisters, she does not watch a lot of movies. She likes watching cartoons instead.
Ishita’s day starts at 6.00 am when she wakes up and gets ready for school. She has tea and helps her mother with housework like cleaning the house. She then helps her mother cook breakfast and lunch and also spends time taking care of her brother who is only 3 months old. Her classes start at 11.30 am and go up to 3.30 pm in the afternoon. After classes end, she walks back home after her class and finishes her school work. She then helps her mother by going to the market to buy some groceries for the house and then along with her sisters she helps cook dinner and finish household work. She has dinner with her family around 7.00 pm and goes to bed around 9.00 pm after revising the day’s school work. Unlike most of her classmates, Ishita’s parents have had some basic education.
“I do feel a big loss having not studied further. If I had studied more, I could have gone to college and had a job of my own. My life would have been much better. Gyanshala has been very good for my children. My oldest daughter is disabled and cannot walk properly. Since, Gyanshala classes are very close, she does not have to walk very far and can easily attend her classes. I really want her to study as much as possible so that she can be independent when she grows up and can take care of herself,” her father says.
Ishita has not thought much on what she wants to be when she grows up. She doesn’t really have a role model yet. She can be teacher, lawyer, doctor, go to army, anything. Like so many children her age, her dreams change every single day and she hopes she can continue studying so that she can choose to be whatever she likes when she grows up.
E&H Foundation’s long-term goal is to ensure that the children in these communities get equal opportunities at high quality education and are motivated to stay in school long enough to complete higher education. E&H Foundation’s mission is to reach 1 lakh children by 2025 similar to Ishita, while its vision is to ultimately make these children valuable and contributing members of the society.