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Standing Up

Determined to overcome: Anjum and her friend Farana

Submitted on behalf of Anjum, who lives in a village with no internet or even electricity.

My name is Anjum and I am 16. I am the first girl along with my classmate Farana who also goes to school with me in Blossom Bus, in the history of my village Babupur in Mewat district Haryana to reach grade 10 in a school. I am told that this is an achievement. How? My parents are not much happy about this achievement as they are happier with the money they are expecting from the harvest being done.

Nobody in the village congratulated me. I do not know how to celebrate and with whom. The girls of my age are busy in harvesting, helping their mothers. Not many girls from my village go to school and none goes to a school after grade five as we do not have an upper primary school in the village. I know most of the girls of my age are married and most of them have kids at 16 in Mewat and nobody complaining.

A question comes to my mind when I do not find any other girl from my village to celebrate. Who is responsible for this situation where no girl has studied till grade 8 or ten in my village? Parents? Teachers? School authorities or the girls themselves are blamed by some parents. I think everyone. The parents never took any initiative to send the girls to school beyond grade five, away from the village because it is not safe. But is it not unsafe at home or when working in the fields alone and unprotected? Is it not true that the girls if educated are better prepared to protect themselves? The parents are escaping from their responsibility putting the blame on the society in Mewat. It requires courage to stand apart from the masses and do something which seems to be difficult but is better.

The lethargic and insensitive teachers taking advantage of the attitude of the parents also discourage girls to come to school, as more students means more work for some teachers who only want to come to school to mark attendance. We have lethargic higher authorities as I have never seen a Block Education Officer or District Education Officer coming to our school and patting on our back for coming to a school four kilometers away from our home.

http://bit.ly/huipnE

Comments

Breese's picture

Thank you

Rachel - thank you for sharing Anjum's story! What brave determination she has for continuing to pursue her education and search for a better future.

Rachel's picture

Anjum

Thank you, Breese. When we got this in from the field the strength and clarity of her voice almost knocked me out of my seat! I will be visiting India in October and have requested to meet Anjum so I can shake her hand. I hope she will qualify for the Standing Up contest - she's only just gotten transportation to school (through our Blossom Bus project) but electricity and internet may be a few years off yet! But Anjum fit the bill so well I'd submit her through my account.

At the very least, thanks for reading it!

Rachel

Thank you Rachel for sharing this very inspiring story of a girl who is determined at all cause to get an education. First girl to go to school from her village? that's deep. You teach a girl child, you teach a village.

Way to go Anjum!

Peace!
Fatima

Rachel's picture

Thanks, Fatima! Anjum is

Thanks, Fatima! Anjum is truly inspiring. We are excited to watch her become a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

zoneziwoh's picture

Beautiful

I wish Anjum could read the responses flowing in the forum, as a result of her testimony.
I can imagine the torture she and her friend are silently going through. I admire her courage, determination to stand up for her education.
My phrase is the one she said : the parents, so do the tutors and villagers would prefer their girl children b @ home / go to the farm rather to school beyond grade 5- with the pretext that one is safer than the other.I love the manner in which she presented her argument; to whether safety is only onesided.
You can also testify that the issue about safety but interest. Patriarchy , patriarchy is entrenched in the culture and do present itself as though it care; no! It only cares in favour of its interest; and that Annum rightly pointed it , in her introduction.

Thanks Rachel, this is good. Plz do us all a favour, in your trip to India in Oct, give Anjum and her friend a printed copy of our responses. Tell her that though we may be distance apart, we are proud of her. She is amazing. I am just imagine my own time, at her age, could i have fully withstand?

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Rachel's picture

I promise!

Hi Zoneziwoh,

Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I will absolutely make sure that Anjum sees the response to her story here on World Pulse. She is indeed very astute, cutting right through the smokescreen and telling everyone to see the bottom line. Feel free to share it!

Rachel

frederica Maima David Gibson's picture

A better chance!

Thanks,
Rachel, This is a reality check, more often not, how many girls out there with the same issue? since most girls generally are at loss to find the right to life!
Frederica,

Y'ello,
This my new email address freddiegibs@yahoo.com
note that freddygibs is no longer my email address as it was hacked,
Frederica,

olutosin's picture

SO SAD

Thanks Rachael for being the voice...May the World listen to our voices. Amen

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Rachel's picture

Thanks Olutosin and

Thanks Olutosin and Frederica. Agreed on both counts!

liba's picture

Inspiration

Rachel
Its a very inspiring story, especially to those societies where girls/ women are still struggle to realize their right to education . Tell her to hold on and she will get far!!!

Liba

"Its not by might nor by power, but by my spitrit , says the Lord"

Pamela Mertz's picture

Empowering

Rachel,
Thanks for sharing this beautiful young woman's story. All of us have a voice that needs to be heard, and your determination to have Anjum be heard, and read, despite long odds, is very inspiring.

My sister married a man from India, whose family came from a very poor village as well. They now have 3 children, two boys and a girl, and these children are growing up in the USA and taking advantage of good education, that we take for granted here, but still in so many regards, can't seem to get right.

I am an educator, and have worked with high school students for 25 years. We must find ways to reach and educate every child. I will use Anjum's story as an inspiration for many of my urban students who do not always take seriously the gift of education. It is a way out and up.

Peace and blessings to you both!

Pam

AyeshaM's picture

thank you!

Thank you Rachel for amplifying Anjum's voice! She is an insightful and inspiring young woman!

Warmly,
Ayesha

---

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."

- Mevlana Jalal-ad-Din Rumi

Rachel's picture

Liba, Pam and Ayesha - thank

Liba, Pam and Ayesha - thank you all so much for sharing! The response to this post is so encouraging, it's certainly time I shared it with Anjum! I will send the link to our project leader in Mewat, Suraj Kumar, and ask him to please print what is here to translate for Anjum the next time he visits her village. If we get word back from her I will certainly share it with everyone here!

Pam, I would be most interested to hear more about your students' reaction to the story. If you would like to write up a brief summary after, I'd love to share it on our blog. Moreover, if any of your students would care to pen their thoughts after hearing about Anjum, those would make great posts for us as well.

With gratitude,

Rachel

ana hamuka's picture

I checked out your blossum

I checked out your blossum bus project — it looks amazing. it must be incredibly gratifying to hear stories from girls like anjum who you are helping.

xx ana

Rachel's picture

Thanks so much for having a

Thanks so much for having a look, Ana. It truly is - and we know that each extra year we can keep these girls in school provides benefits that will last a lifetime. They marry later, have fewer children and have greater self confidence. We love our work!

usha kc's picture

Thank you Rachel for sharing

Thank you Rachel for sharing such an inspiring story of Anjum. Great job!

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