If only I could study more : an interview

We interviewed a lady guard who works in my institute and asked her about what education means to her. How the lack and inconsistency of it in her childhood years dimmed her career, the hardships she had to face, and particularly because she was a woman, and how today against all odds she is working in order to secure the future of her children. The ignorance and unawareness among the poor masses that foments the perpetual adversity and how it can be addressed.

Excerpts:

My childhood was spent in playing and having fun. I belonged to a village. When we were 7-8 years old, my father decided we should be put into a government school.I was so interested in studying that inspite of being in government school I topped in school every year. I studied till fifth standard in that school. Then I was enrolled in Kanya Vidhyalaya. Till ninth I studied there. I lost my mother that time and my father got me married. I could not even complete my tenth class studies. It was a huge setback for me. Then, I started persuading my in-laws and by god’s grace I completed tenth, but after that I could not study. I was married in a village and I had to look after my domestic duties and the school was far away, so studying was a hard nut to crack, and no less than an herculean task. Then I had children, it was very difficult to make education available to them because our village was in a forest area. My husband was not employed, only a little farm area is what all we had. After my continuos nagging, I came to Gwalior, after fighting a lot of arguments. My husband went back to village and I realized that if I go back to village the future of my all three children will be in danger. So, I started to work in factories. I got my two kids enrolled in a school. They study in a private school and are very sharp-minded. As the time passed by, it became really difficult for me to provide them funds for the school. I could make my eldest son study till 12th class. It started becoming insreasingly difficult for me to fend off academic needs of my children. Private school authorities shooed away my kids because I was unable to fulfill few demands, my children started getting stressed which was natural. They confiscated my kids’ bags and said, they would get it back only on payment of fee. My kids started deteriorating in academics. My younger daughter somehow could study but my youngest child is very weak in studies. Today, I am not able to provide him good education because I do not have enough to fulfill the formalities. I am the lone bread-earner of the family. The teacher’s started forcing me to get my kids enrolled in tuitions, but I could not just afford that. I earn 4000-5000 per month and it is extremely difficult to manage household with it. I live in a city, in a home at rent and on parallel track I have to get my kids educated, this is a huge problem for me. I am doing my every bit to secure my kids’ future.

Something if you can recall, had it been like, so that the problems that you went through your children do not have to? If there were some incentives from Government that you knew of? For instance, seldom do poor people know that authorities and policy makers are addressing some of their problems. What do you have to say about all this?

Yes, that is true. We do not have any sort of information regarding any schemes that get doled out for us and nor any reliable and regular medium to tell us about that. Had I known it at that time, my life today would have been much better and I would not be reeling under utter penury and adversities that come along.

If you know Right to Education in which every child is entitled to get free education till the age of 14. And there are many foundations also, B.N.Satnalika being one of them.

If I knew of all this, I could have had a lot in my life and made the best of it. I am trying to make my daughter complete till 12th. Then if I can get her enrolled in some government job it would be helpful or some nursing course for her.

What do you think, how education is important?

I think, education is really very important. If I had not studied even what I have studied, then I could not have nurtured my kids at all. After a lot of struggling times I completed my high school and today I am trying my best to provide good education, if not the best to my children. My eldest son is 18 years old, younger daughter is 15 years old, and youngest son is 12 years old and he is very weak in studies. He failed a couple of times in school. When I started working I earned very little, I started with Rs. 900 a month and making food in such situation was very challenging. Anyways, what we have today is definitely good, had we known more about schemes and programs, our lives would have been definitely better.

Thus, after this interview I realized how much education is valuable and in testing times if one is educated he can fight against any obstacle. Thus, its really very important to impart education to people. And this woman is the testimony to the fact that even a little education can make you dream bigger.

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