STORIES OF CHANGE

Sartaj is the 3rd daughter of Abdul Hameed who migrated from Uttar Pradesh years ago and who earns his livelihood by selling fish. The family resides at Khora Colony. Hameed has to feed a family of 14 members including his father, mother and his ten children. Sartaj, like her two elder sisters, who are married, has never been to school. Rasta staff came in contact with her and motivated her to attend Non Formal classes at Rasta Girls School. Enthusiastic and hardworking, Sartaj was able to appear for and pass VIII Class Examination of the NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) in a year’s time and then X class examination. Now she is preparing for XII Class Examination through Rasta’s Distance Education programme. Sartaj has also completed a 6 month’s Tailoring Course from Rasta’s Tailoring Centre and is now working at Astha Boutique, under Rasta’s Nari Garima Project. She makes sure that her five younger sisters and two brothers study at least up to Class X. Sartaj’s parents are now planning her marriage, although she is not keen and would like to continue her studies. A determined Sarita told Rasta's Teachers– "I will continue to study even at my in-laws’ house and ensure that children there go to School".

Yusra Ansari is the youngest of 11 children of Irfan Ansari and Naseema Khatoon, who migrated from Eastern UP, in search of livelihood. Her father was a hawker but got injured in an accident and hence stays at home. Yusra’s two elder sisters and two elder brothers are married. Her youngest brother is studying in class III. Due to poverty and the need to do some work Yusra did not go to School. After a lapse of 2 years, she came in contact with RASTA’s teachers, who persuaded her to get admitted in Rasta’s School at Khora Colony.
She was coached in NFE classes and cleared III, V and VIII Examinations, under the Open Basic Education Programme of NIOS. Yusra started a Tuition Centre for smaller children.Her dream is to become a teacher in a Government School. She ensures that her younger siblings continue their studies and meets all expenses on that account. In a year’s time she will appear for Class X and then Class XII Examinations.

Samreen belongs to a Muslim family where women are confined to the four walls of the house and remains often behind a veil. Samreen’s husband divorced her after three years of marriage and then she lived with her parents at Khureji Khas. She was busy with the household chores, was unskilled and couldn’t secure any gainful employment. Being too much economically dependent on her parents was an unfavorable situation and she had been racking her brains on how to change it. It was at this time that Rasta staff, during one of their community visits, came in touch with her. From them Samreen came to know about the vocational training programmes conducted by Rasta and she wanted to undergo the Beauty Parlour Training. But her parents were against it, as she being a divorcee was a stigma and would invite unfavorable comments when she would go for training and then for job. Rasta's Community Workers visited the parents a few times, dialogued with them and ultimately made them agree to allow Samreen to undergo the Beauty Parlour Training. Samreen completed the Training successfully. Today she is a beauty Parlour Instructor at Bridge Puri, Khureji Khas, at a monthly salary of Rs 10,000/-.

Siraj with his wife and 7 children migrated from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi in search of livelihood and was lucky to get work as construction labourers. This, however, is a hard life involving movement from one place to another, leading to neglect of children’s studies and care. With the support of Mobile Creche, Rasta set up a Day Care Centre at Palm drive, close to the construction site. Rasta helped the family to make their Adhar Card which would stand them in good stead to prove their identity and claim their entitlements.
Rasta persuaded the eldest daughter Aarushi to remain at the Centre, enrolled the next three children, 10, 8, and 6 years old, respectively in III, II and I standards of the nearby Government School, and took care of the other three siblings at the Day Care Centre, where they get the much needed protection, nutritional food three times and health care in a joyful atmosphere with other similar children.

Geeta , stays at Galli No.2,Khurji Khaz with her husband and three children– 1 daughter and 2 sons. Her husband is a drunkard and doesn’t go to work.Geeta was earning a little by doing piece work at home for some Garment Export Co. RASTA enrolled her under the Swarna Jayanthi Shaheri Rozgar Yojana and admitted her for the one and a half month’s training in House Keeping at BVG Institute.After completing that training,Geeta has been placed as an attendant at ISBT where she is earning a salary of Rs 7,200/-. Geeta has become a member of the SHG promoted by RASTA at Khureji Khaz.

Sultana resides at Khureji Khas. Hailing from a strongly traditional Muslim family, she was never allowed her to go to school, especially by her grandfather. Sultana was married off at the young age of 15 to a man who was 35 years old and also hailed from an equally conservative family. He forbade Sultana from getting out of the house and mixing with others. Rasta staff, during one of their community visits to the area, came in contact with her and heard her story. Sultana told them about her desire to study. Rasta staff enrolled her in the Rasta Adult Education Centre and prepared her for the Class X Examination of NIOS, which she passed creditably. She is presently working as Supervisor at Herbal Life on a monthly salary of Rs.5000/-.

14 years old Pooja is the daughter of Shyam Sunder living in Khora. Sham Sunder migrated from Aligarh to Delhi in search of livelihood. He lives in a small rented house along with his wife, five daughters and only son. Sham earns his livelihood by selling kerosene oil. He has been suffering from kidney stones. Due to his illness, he was unable to work. His illness was getting worse day by day, due to irregular treatment. Pooja was studying in III standard and she had to discontinue her studies. She did not attend any school for nearly 8 years. During community mobilization, Rasta teachers met her parents and told them about Rasta school. Her parents explained their family condition and why Puja had to discontinue her studies. Rasta staff assured them of all support. Puja was given extra coaching and was soon enrolled in VI standard at Rasta Girls School. Taking it as a challenge, Rasta teachers motivated Pooja, and raised her learning level appropriate to her age. Gradually Pooja picked up the course. Now she is in VIII standard and improving day by day. Apart from studies she took part in co-curricular activities. Along with Pooja, Rasta also helped her mother by giving her work opportunity in Rasta’s Indirapuram School.

“Our family is very thankful to Rasta for their unconditional support”, says Puja. Asked about her dream, Puja replies “I want to become doctor”.

Darkasha is the fifth daughter of Shamshaad Ali who resides at Khora colony. Shamshaad is a street Vendor and has to feed a family of 7 members. He is the only earning member of his family. Daraksha left her school when she was in 2nd standard due to financial difficulties. Her four sisters were also not studying. Then her mother came to know about Rasta School. She visited school, interacted with the teachers and explained her financial problems, due to which they were unable to teach their daughters. Rasta staff enrolled Daraksha in 2nd standard along with her 3 sisters. Now Daraksha and her one sister are in 10th standard, younger sister is in 5th standard and one sister already passed out.

“Rasta helped me and my sisters to become educated”, says Daraksha. Her dream is to become a Police Woman.

lives in Khureji Khas in a small rented house. She belongs to a family of seven members including her parents,three sisters and two brothers. Her father is self-employed as a welder. He is the only earning member in the family. Through Rasta community mobilizer, Gulafsha came to know about the ongoing vocational courses in Rasta. She enrolled herself in the Cutting and Tailoring course in 2014, and simultaneously studies for graduation.She successfully completed the 6 months’ course. Gulafsha started securing orders for stitching from her neighbors and started earning. Still, she used to come to the Rasta Vocational Training Centre and her skill. In 2015 Rasta offered her the post of Cutting & Tailoring Instructor at the Vocational Training Centre from where she learnt stitching. She is drawing a salary of Rs. 7000/- per month. Now she is helping her father to meet the needs of the family.

Gulafsha says “Thanks to Rasta for helping me to become independent and turning my dreams into reality. Now I can support my family.”

Gunja Prajapathi lives in Shashi Garden in a very small house. There are 9 members in her family - mother father, 5 sisters & 2 brothers. Her father is the only earning member in the family. He gets a salary of Rs 8,500/- per month. Gunja’s mother is a homemaker. Gunja is the youngest in her family. Earlier she was working as a teacher with “PRATHAM NGO” to help her father financially. She was working as a part time employee with “PRATHAM” for Rs.2100/- per month and also pursuing graduation.

She came in contact with Rasta staff during their community mobilization and came to know about the ongoing programs of Rasta, especially about the training in computer skills, English, Retail & Basic Management and Personality Development courses. Gunja joined the course and was good student.

After completion of course Rasta staff helped her for placement. Gunja, got a job with “PIZZA HUT” at ‘PACIFIC MALL’, Anand Vihar as a full time employee. She is now drawing a salary of Rs. 8500/- per month along with other benefits.

10 years old Salina lives in Khora Colony in a small rented house. Her father is a tailor and has to feed a family of twelve (self, wife, 3 daughters and 7 sons). He is the only source of income in the family. Salina has not been attending any School.

Salina’s mother, during her interaction with other women of the community, came to know about Rasta School and decided to put her in Rasta School. Salina was admitted in 1st standard. Now she is in 3rd standard. She was not regular in school and whenever she came, was always silent. Concerned about her inactive behavior teachers motivated her to join extra-curricular activities, like playing, drawing, painting etc. Salina, however, did not take part in any such activities. Once she fainted in the classroom. Medical check-up revealed that her hemoglobin was very low. After consultation with the doctor, teachers went to her home and discussed her problem with her parents. Her parents had no means to get her treated in any hospital. Rasta staff helped her family to get admitted in Max hospital. She was admitted for 2 days for blood transfusion. Thanks to Rasta’s good relations with Max Hospital, the entire treatment was free. After successful treatment, Salina’s health showed marked improvement. She started coming to school regularly. Salina’s parents are grateful to Rasta for saving her life. And Rasta is grateful to Max India Foundation which is taking care of children health.

Parmila, a housewife, has been living at Shastri Nagar in a rented house, with her husband and four children. She was a very shy woman and was never allowedto go outside her house due to her conservative family background. Parmila came in contact with Rasta in 2013, during their community mobilization. After a few visits of the mobilizers in her area, she shared her willingness to do something but said that she had no money to start anything on her own. Besides, because of her conservative family background, she had no confidence in herself. Rasta staff explained to her the advantages of becoming a member of the Self Help Group, which was functioning in her area and motivated her to join the Group. Rasta staff managed to convince her and she became part of the SHG group Prayas. During her visits to the Centre for SHG meeting, staff again motivated her to join adult education classes which were going on in the Centre. Parmila, who was not able to write her name, gradually learnt many things. Her self-confidence improved and she became very active in the discussions at the SHG and other community meetings. Parmila took a loan from the SHG and started a business.She came in contact with the Vestige Company and started selling their products. Now she is earning and is supplementing her family income.

Thanks to Rasta for making me independent and bringing me out from my conservative family background”, says a confident Parmila.

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