There’s no need for us to highlight the importance of education as it’s indispensable and important in each person’s life. It not just empowers the underprivileged but also helps in eradicating social barriers like child marriage.
Even though there are several acts in order to provide education for underprivileged children, there are thousands of kids who remain uneducated. In fact, as per a report, over 32 million children in our nation have never been to a school.
I know that a bunch of privileged and educated people like me want to help these underprivileged children but just don’t know where to start. However, one fine morning, the chance knocked on my door and took me by surprise.
On a weekend afternoon, around six months back, I was taking a meeting with my team on a video call. My housekeeper, Pooja Auntie, who has been with us for about two years now, was cleaning the table beside me.
After my meeting, she said, “Aap toh bohot fatfat angrezi bol lete ho.” I warmly smiled at her and got back to work.
The next morning, I was finishing up some office work in my room and I heard a soft knock on the door. I opened the door, expecting my mother, asking to change the episode of her television drama, but to my surprise, it was Pooja Auntie with her ten-year daughter, Renu.
I looked at them, quite still in shock, because she never knocks on the door or talks to me, as much. I went ahead, sat down, and asked her daughter how she is, to which she sweetly replied that she was alright.
Auntie, who waited for our conversation to end, asked me if it was possible for me to teach her daughter as she neither had the time nor funds to send her to a good school.
To be honest, I was quite reluctant to agree, at first. I had never taught a soul in my entire life. In fact, I had always been an average student during my school and college life.
However, my mother asked me to put an effort here because she knew that I have always wanted a chance like this. And so, I agreed and asked her daughter to come the next morning.
I went ahead and bought some charts, books, and basic supplies for her like a bag, pencils, and colours. Back at home, the entire household was quite excited for our first session – my dad gave us a space in his study room and my mum prepared her favourite breakfast.
Renu showed up at the right time and we had our first class. I couldn’t help and adore her smiling face throughout the entire morning. Post the class, we sat and had breakfast together.
She never missed a class, even when she was unwell, which kept me going. After a month, when her mother requested me to take something in return for her education, I took a promise that she will never stop her from studying.
It has been six long months and each morning, I see her with the same smile and enthusiasm. Although I’m the teacher here, I have learned so much from her.
From finding happiness in the tiniest of things like a notebook to her positive outlook towards life, there’s too much for us to learn from them. I learned how we can all be grounded, grateful and excited for whatever the future holds for us. However, above all, I developed a deeper understanding of my privileges and the fact that we can bring a massive change into people’s lives with just a little effort.
With the help of some family connections, we were able to fetch admission for her at a prominent school in the capital of the nation. She will join the school as soon as the next session will begin and we couldn’t be happier.
As a person who has all the basic essentials, and more, I would like to request people like me to extend help to others who need it. We are the ones favoured by the system, and it is our responsibility to work toward equality.
In the end, I must mention that the marginalised do not exist for the privileged to learn their lessons, and in no way do I mean to promote that. I went in with the intention of performing my most basic duty as a citizen of this country, and world, and came back with my own learnings.