At my age my mother was married and pregnant with me to a man who beat her. She had to cover her head when her in-laws came and had no say in family affairs. I am going to be independent. I teach children 3 hours a day with slum children as the tuition teacher. We have 65 children in the class. Some of those children don’t have proper clothes, live under black plastic and can’t read and write. In India we don’t have even basic things like quality education, health care, electricity and clean water. We fight like dogs for everything; people even have to hold onto the side of the bus from the outside to go to work. When they say we are the second fastest growing economy, I wonder who is growing. It’s certainly not the labourers who are paid $30 per month to build the glass skyscrapers that the ‘new India’ lives in. It’s not their children.
My family left the village because there wasn’t enough land to support all of us, not enough water and my parents dreamed of a better education for us. I was lucky I met Open hands education and got good advice. Now I will help my people and my family and myself. I have hope for the future. I have education, independence and dignity that few girls in my slum have. Some of my school mates are already married. In the beginning they think it’s really exciting to get new saris and new jewellery and go somewhere else, but in the end it’s like a cage, because they are not financially independent, they depend on their husbands and in-laws and can’t leave the house without permission. So many times I see that after a few years and a few kids, a beautiful young girl who entered the house like a queen has become like a haggard slave. Her husband starts drinking because he can’t get a good paying job due to lack of quality education or laziness and then she has to go to work cleaning others pots because that’s all she was trained to do. I think it’s a sin to not make your daughter independent – to indenture her to others as a biological and emotional slave. After seeing all these problems with girls Open hands education has started sewing training centre for young girls who drop out school and can’t go to school. So this sewing training centre gives them opportunity to girls and women to become self independent so that they can help themselves if husband is drunker and can’t look after her and children. There are many girls from village and from other village and taking benefits of this program. I was also one of swing student and later i have been appointed as a Tuition Teacher and teaching children.
Stories tell us of Princes on white horses who will rescue us, or of the faithful Indian wife who will follow her husband through fire to prove her devotion and meekness. But I live in the slum. I don’t see any princes on white horses. I realise I have to be my own prince. My father is a good man who works hard for us. Now my mother is really the boss of the family, but it took a long time for her to have independence. I don’t want that to happen to me. I will get a good job and have a love marriage – I will choose my husband and my life. Thanks to Open Hands Education.