Here’s the story of High School Asha student Farman written by my colleague Amitava.
Thank you to Steve and to the members of Reservoir for your commitment to the Asha family in Chanderpuri. You might remember Farman through your visits in the past.
Farman lives in Chanderpuri slum with his parents. His family had migrated to Delhi more than twenty years back from the neighbouring state of UP in search of a better life. They live in a one room shanty near the railway track of Chanderpuri. When it rains, water enters their house and washes away all their belongings. Farman had to face life’s challenges since his childhood and saw acute poverty and deprivation from close quarters. The severe space crunch in the house, the sound of constant rattling of trains and lack of enabling environment resulted in huge difficulties for Farman to concentrate in his studies. Her father is a day laborer earning about 80 dollars a month. This amount was too meagre to maintain the family. Already struggling for survival, the crisis of the pandemic put the family further into existential crisis as Farman’s father lost his income and there were no savings to fall back on.
However, Asha provided the family with emergency food parcels throughout the pandemic. This enabled the family to survive the crisis.
As both the parents and other family members are not educated, the biggest challenge for Asha was to help them understand the value of education for Farman who has been associated with Asha since his childhood as a member of Bal Mandal (Children’s Group). The Asha team and student ambassadors played a major role in motivating Farman in his quest for higher education, and gave him the necessary support. Farman’s parents were also counselled both at the Asha center in Chanderpuri as well as through regular home visits. Finally, the team was delighted when they allowed Farman to opt for higher education.
Farman studied at the Asha center using the resources like advanced IT facilities, books and dedicated study spaces as there were no facilities at his home for studies. He would come to the center early in the morning and after his studies, attended his school classes on line. After spending the whole day at the center, he returned home in the evening. The Asha team provided him with academic support through study material, and the Senior Asha Ambassadors helped him with his subjects and helped clear his concepts.
With Farman’s determination and focus, and with Asha’s support, he scored a brilliant 91.7% in his School Leaving exams! What a wonderful result. He studied English, History, Political Science and Geography.
Asha will now help him apply to some top rung universities in Delhi. He wants to do an Honours in Political Science and dreams of entering the prestigious Indian Administrative Service.
“I want to change the condition of my community and bring an end to their sufferings and struggles”, says Farman. He has been a brave and committed Asha Corona warrior all through the pandemic.
All the best Farman for a brilliant future. May you soon see a day when you and your family will never be poor again. And we are all fully committed to helping you achieve your goals.