Children standing up and saying, “Good morning ma’am!”
Me smiling at all of them and replying “Good morning everyone!”
Children sitting down and uttering “Thank you ma’am!”
This was exactly how I was greeted in every classroom of every learning centre of Sshrishti I visited. I could not tell that these educated and well mannered children once used to be insolent and loitered on the streets. Sshrishti has brought some major life style changes to the lives of these children.
At the age of nine, Ruby’s daily tasks involved cleaning dishes, mopping floors, cooking and taking care of her baby brother. Due to Sshrishti’s persuasion, Ruby began coming to one of their centers to learn basic reading, writing, math and life skills. Due to Ruby’s rapid learning and quick grasping skills, she did not only master her basic reading and writing in English and Hindi but also developed essential vocational skills used in beauty parlors. After perceiving Ruby’s intellectual ability, the staff of Sshrishti convinced her mother to give her permission to attend regular classes at one of their centers. In 2008, she was enrolled in Class V of the National Institute of Open Schooling. Today, she is in class VII of Girls School in Mehrauli, Delhi. She has also developed her skills in designing beautiful intricate henna patterns on palms. This ambitious girl will surely achieve a lot in life.
Then there is 3-year old Muskan. Her father died at a young age. Her mother washed dishes at people’s houses and struggled to support herself and her two daughters. Muskan helped by begging on the streets. There seemed to be no hope of education or a bright future for Muskan till she was discovered by Sshrishti. That’s when she finally gained access to both education and food. She did not only find a safe learning environment but also began receiving nutrition through the mid-day meal program. Muskan’s teachers and friends were the reason behind Muskan’s optimism and willingness to study. Due to Sshrishti ‘s various activities, Muskan found her love for dance. Debuting at their 2012 Diwali celebrations, Muskan now performs Garba with other students at the French Embassy Charity Dinner. She is 6 years old today and studies in LKG. She believes that Sshrishti ‘s teachers and mentors showed her a completely distinct side of life and helped her change her outlook towards life. Therefore, Muskan’s aim is to become a teacher and help students like her.
Sardhak is a 5-year-old boy in Sshrishti’s playgroup section. His father recently lost his job and his pregnant mother is no condition to do labor work. Before Sshrishti, Sardhak used to beg on the streets to survive. Fortunately, his parents trusted Sshrishti‘s school and enrolled Sardhark in the school in order for him to attain a bright future. Now, Sardhak can read and write English. He also enjoys playing football very much. He dreams of becoming a famous footballer one day!
Picked up from the slum and transformed into a respectful individual, the children have shown vast improvement through the endless efforts of Ssrishti. It truly enhances the quotation “The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering.”