In most cases worldwide, mothers are usually worried about their children’s education and devote a lot of their time towards the schooling of the kids. However, in the slums of Bapu Dham in Chandigarh there has been a reversal of roles. Here, young girls in the age group of 9 to 15 have spawned a mission to educate their mothers; and this has now become a successful adult literacy program.
Supriya Bharadwaj writes this article in the Times of India. Excerpt:
“We knew there was an urgent need to educate the people here. We approached a local NGO, Yuvsatta for help. The result has been heart-warming,” says 13-year-old Baby, one of the children in the mission.
The hard work has paid off. Now, Baby’s mother Jai Kumari, 35, can not only sign her name but can also read names of medicines on labels — both in Hindi and English. “When my daughter began teaching me, I used to feel awkward. But she has made me proud of myself. And I love reading,” she says.
What is all the more encouraging is the impact of this program:
For 15-year-old Ramavati, educating her father brought an unexpected dividend. He postponed plans to get her married and instead asked her to continue with her studies. “My father can now read signboards and names of streets,” she says, beaming. “He says he could only become an auto-rickshaw driver as he was not educated that he should now do more.” The programme has been replicated in colony number 5, another city slum.
Hats off to these young girls of Chandigarh for showing the nation how much can be achieved with the right focus and persistence!