Stories of Change

Traveller Fareen

Her name is Fareen. She lives in Arthala near Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, U.P. She studies in 4th standard. Her father is a barber who works really hard to make ends meet. Her mother is a homemaker. Both the parents are very supportive and encouraging towards their children’s education and hope that they succeed in life. She has a younger brother in the same school (Arthala Fareen has a slight disability in her left hand and left knee joint due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. This never deterred her spirit and determination to work hard. Her favourite subjects are Computers & General Knowledge. She aspires to become a doctor. She likes travelling and wishes to travel the whole world. She is an average student, does her homework regularly and is a quick learner. ABV is supporting her education so as to encourage her to continue with the studies and achieve.

Artist Sonu

He studies in 1st standard. His mother is a maid and sole earning member of the family. His father had passed away years ago. He has two elder siblings an elder brother and a sister. They also study Sonu’s mother believes that education is a key to success in life, it is evident from the fact that all her children are enrolled in ABV and has never asked any of her children to help her and contribute Sonu’s favourite subjects are Science and Maths. He loves to draw and is really good at it. He also likes to play cricket and watch films. He is an average student and very shy and calm in nature.

Dr. Anu

Anu Kumari studies in 4th standard. She has been enrolled in ABV since nursery class, this makes her 6th year in this school. She has a younger brother who is in L.K.G . She also has an elder sister who is in 5th standard and was also enrolled since nursery class. There are two earning members in the family. Her mother works in a Pvt. Company and her father does packaging work for some other company. Anu wants to become a doctor. Her favourite subjects are English, Maths & Science. She is an above average student with a willingness to learn more and more. She likes to play games likes Hide n After becoming a doctor, she wants to contribute to the society by helping the poor and needy

The Dynamic Siblings – Nancy and Sanky

Post the death of their father a few years ago, both Nancy and Sanky received an early setback in their life. But this did not break their spirit of learning and fulfilling their dreams. Nancy studies in class 7Th and loves to study computer science and practice drawing. She is a very enthusiastic girl who tries to be active in all activities happening in the school. She aspires to become a dancer one day and idolises Katrina Kaif. Her favourite performance of Katrina Kaif is in the song While her little brother Sanky, studies in class 5th. He is an avid cricket fan and like million other Indians adores Sachin Tendulkar. But, he is highly influenced by his Mausaji, who is in the Indian Army and dreams of becoming a Commando one day. After their school hours, both of them help their mother, who sells clothes in the nearby market. But despite all these adversities they have a positive outlook towards life and love coming to school. For them ABV is not merely a school, but a place where they make new friends and try to learn.

Dr. Aman Khan

Aman is studying in Class 5th and has been with the school since class 1st. He has 3 more siblings and is the second youngest amongst them. His father is a Sari seller and mother’s a housewife. His favourite subjects are English and Science. He is very inquisitive about topics related to the human body and aspires to become a doctor one day. Post his school hours, he learns Urdu and engages in playing Cricket. His favorite cricketer is MS Dhoni and he loves the ‘MSD helicopter shot’, which he also tries to imitate while playing.

Dreamer Sitara

The star of her family, Sitara Malik is the eldest of her two siblings. Born and brought up in Arthala, she lives with her grandfather, mother, brother and sister. Family is run by the pension received by her grandfather who is a retired factory worker. Her father was a drug addict and died few years back in an accident. The family was shattered and financially broken. Empowering Minds thought that the education of kids should not suffer so they were supported with all of their educational and nutrition needs. Sitara’s mother speaks high of the school and is thankful to the School management. She said “ if the school had not supported us in our troubled times, then my kids would have remained at home since I could not have afforded their education”. Sitara has been studying in Arthala Bal Vidyalaya since nursery and currently is in class sixth. Her younger sister Ikra also studies in ABV in class 4th. Sitara enjoys working on computer and exploring new things. Akshay kumar is her favourite actor and tries not missing his blockbusters! Apart from learning in school and actively participating in extra-curricular, she also learns Urdu from her A dreamer in real sense, she wishes to be a civil servant in future and make her family proud. We wish her all the luck for future endeavours and wish to help her in every possible way.

Art in Veins- Varsha

Sitting on the first bench, attentively listening to the teacher and the moment he leaves, she has her drawing book ready. Varsha is one of the finest artist at her age! Studying in Arthala Bal Vidyalaya since class 1st, she is currently in class 5th. She has six siblings of which 3 are married. The family is run by the earnings of their father who is a vegetable seller. There was a time when even she helped her father in selling vegetables. This happened for sometime but as soon as the management of ABV got to know, they counselled the parents and the kid, the sole motto was to make them realize the importance of education. School also assured of any help that the family would need financially. Since then she has shown a remarkable improvement in her academics. She enjoys watching cartoon and finds Doremon the cutest of all. An active Kho-Kho player, she makes sure she balances her She boasts about her family which is extremely supportive and drives happiness from Varsha’s interests and aspirations. Like Varsha, her mother also wants her to be an artist! We hope to buy a beautiful art piece from this pretty girl very soon.

Vijay Sharma – stepping the ladder of success.

Vijay Sharma is a pass out of Arthala Bal Vidyalaya. He began his journey with the school in the year 2009, getting admitted in class 3rd . For him academics did not come easy. He used to work in a pesticides factory then, not paying much attention to studies. His grades were not satisfactory. Mrs. Richa Mohan (the founder member of EM) seeing the scenario took the case in her hands. She counselled Vijay and his family and made them understand the importance of education. The words of wisdom did create magic, since then there has been no looking back. Vijay in the subsequent years emerged as one of the toppers of the school. His grades improved dramatically. When asked about the contribution of the school in his success, his smile said it all. He was thankful to the school and the faculty for nurturing his talents, showing him the right path and inculcating the right values and discipline in him. He believes that the education system here is better than many schools he knows. He also said if ABV was till 12th standard then he would have never left it. Currently he is studying in class 9th in Adarsh Vidyalaya. He lives with his father, mother and two siblings. His father is a factory worker in Sahibabad andmother is a homemaker. Both his siblings are also studying. He has keen interest in computers and wants to pursue his graduation in the same field. He continues to do well in his academics and We wish this bright chap all the very best and hope he continues to make his parents proud in all.

Saiba – Teacher at Arthala Bal Vidyalaya

‘I love to teach’ the words she muttered as soon as she heard the word teaching. We were told that when she joined the school she was shy and inhibited girl. Soon after a week her family refused to let her come to school on the pretext no girl in the family goes out for earning. It is the men’s work. However, she and her family was counselled for days together and in the end she was allowed to join the school again. With time she made progress and from nursery now takes classes 5th ,6th ,7th and 8th . “With correct guidance and time, one learns, and so have I” said she when asked about her growth in the school. She believes that the school has been a confidence booster for her. Initially she used to hesitate while talking to people but all her inhibitions seem to vanish now. One even learns from his/her students and she acknowledges this fact. She is happy with the environment and the education system of the school. She feels contended to be associated with a school that runs for ‘below poverty line’ families. The NGO Empowering Minds continues to influence many who are under privileged. At the same time, she is pursuing her B.Com from M.M College Modinagar, studying in the final year. The school is extremely supportive towards teachers’ own education and provides leaves and any monetary help, if needed. She is able to maintain a good work life balance with the convenient working hours and stress free environment. Teachers are given gifts on Diwali and other festivals. She is satisfied with her work and wishes to continue with the school in times to come.

Contributors of the stories

Saurabh Singhal, Saumya Aggarwal, Sandhya Bhat,  Vivek Kr. Singh

Interns at Empowering Minds 2015

Nersee Monjee Institute of Management, Mumbai