A brother and sister from Madhya Pradesh have put together every penny they could, including their scholarship money and pocket money, to build a toilet for a girl’s school in Narsingpur district.
Sixteen-year-old Memoona Khan and her 14-year-old brother Aamir Khan are students of Class 10 and 9, respectively. Over the past two years they have been saving the money they received as a scholarship for “minority community” students.
To this grant they added their own pocket money, in order to build a toilet for a girl’s school called Maharani Laxmi Bai Girls Higher Secondary School in Narsingpur.
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“The school had only one toilet. I’d feel bad seeing students standing in a queue outside the toilet,” Memoona, a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Narsingpur, told Times of India. “I talked about it with my younger brother Aamir. Since we were hesitant to discuss it with our parents, we first discussed it with a friend of my father’s, uncle Bablu Gupta. He appreciated our concern and told our father. Luckily, our father agreed.”
“Each of us gets Rs. 2000 scholarship annually.We’d saved two years of scholarship money in our accounts, as our father pays for our schooling expenses. Then, we had also saved from our pocket money – we contributed a total of Rs. 2,000. Thus, we had Rs. 10,000 in total. Seeing our enthusiasm, our father also pitched in with Rs 14,500 for the toilet,” said Memoona.
The siblings’ efforts have been appreciated by P K Lazarus, the Principal of the girls’ school: “Around 1600 students study in our school and we only had two toilets. With the new toilet, there is a great relief.”
Memoona has contributed towards causes earlier too. In 2011, she wrote to MP Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan, calling him “Mamaji” in her letter, and asked him to build a road to her school. The CM responded by saying, “Bhaanjion ki baat kaise taal sakta hoon?” Two years after writing the letter, the road was completed.
Memoona has also been made brand ambassador of Lado Abhiyan, an initiative to create awareness about the girl child.
The children’s father, Hussain Pathan, runs a tailoring shop in Narsingpur. “Kids are very much into social activities. Memoona had even participated in a protest against an illegal liquor shop,” he said.