My name is Priya Gupta and I am nine years old. I am a student of class two. I love my school and I love to study but if I don’t get a sponsor I will not be able to study any further.
Girdhar Shyam my father is a peon who earns daily wages in the absence of a regular job, adds Priya whose teachers call her an all rounder.
Although Priya is a slum dweller, threatened with eviction she is a bright student who excels in all extra curricular activities like story telling, dance, music and sports as well.
It will be a pity if Priya is forced to give up school due to a lack of funds. She is now in desperate need of a sponsor.
Numerous organisations are providing education to underprivileged children like Priya and Asha for Education is one of them. A volunteer-run action group, Asha focuses on basic education in the simple belief that issues like healthcare, environment, socio- economics and women’s issues will be better addressed when a society is better educated.
Asha recognizes that illiteracy is a persistent link in the chain that keeps a large number of people shackled in the poverty trap. Anyone working towards breaking that link works towards true freedom and independence. People have to be literate for democracy to be sustainable and there is hope for India only when the masses are empowered.
For the same reason Asha has been quietly working to provide direction and funding to non-governmental non-profit organizations that provide education and hope to children.
Its program like Each One Teach One aims to make a difference to one child at a time.
Another remarkably simple and effective way for others to provide help is called Work an Hour for Education when a particular hour is chosen by volunteers who pledge to work towards the cause of primary education.
To encourage and help slum children to attend formal schools, Asha Samajik Vidyalaya (ASV), Lucknow, selects children from its non-formal education centers on the basis of student merit, interest, need, and parent commitment. ASVs are non- formal education centers that provide educational opportunities to hundreds of children in Lucknow. The ASV Support-A- Child (SAC) program helps selected children by funding their school fees and other related expenses, as well as providing these students with after-school tutoring.
Since the Lucknow slums where ASV operates are not yet regularized and recognized as slums by the government, the children and parents living in these areas are under constant threat of eviction. The average family size is eight to 10 members.
The parents are rag pickers, domestic workers, hawkers or fruit vendors. None of them have a regular and secure source of income and are forced to survive below the poverty line. Most parents cannot afford to send their children to school. Although, ASV is working to get more children to go to regular schools, many of them are forced to drop out due to family, or other reasons.
Priya is one of those children who is caught is this vicious cycle of eviction, poverty and illiteracy and she needs immediate support.