24 Oct 2022. Sharing greetings for Dipavali, or the Festival of Lights, this morning a volunteer wrote from Bihar, “Wishing every celebration or festival reminds us to take along people we have left behind.”
Today we are excited to introduce you to a few of the people who light up our world. Once left behind, they bravely stepped forward to overcome dark times in their own lives. Their first-hand personal experience dealing with poverty and discrimination makes them convincing role models whose fighting spirit spreads like fire.
Meet Sindhu. She comes from a poor family and her husband is a daily wage construction worker. Coordinating kitchen garden programs in Tiruvannamalai district, she guides villagers on raising a variety of vegetables plants in a small space.
How much is her guidance worth? Recently as she was making her rounds, an elderly woman doing daily wage work came running and stopped Sindhu to ask her how to deal with a particular kind of pest attack in her kitchen garden. She said, “even if I lose the half day wage of Rs.150, you please sit and explain me the steps to prepare insect repellent.”
Sindhu said, “people in these 10 villages, including my own village are giving so much respect which was unimaginable in my life.”
The AID India kitchen garden program is running in more than 180 villages across 12 districts, thanks to the dedicated guidance of field coordinators like Sindhu.
In Sakkottai Block, Sivagangai District, Rahamathunisha works as a field coorindator for the Eureka educational programs including the mobile library which is shown in the photo above. As she tells it, “I wanted to be a teacher but in my family I did not get the opportunity. In 2007, a friend introduced me to AID India and I was very happy to get into education.” She continues with pride, “In any disaster be it flood or COVID, I continue my work in the villages, with children and their families. Over 15 years I have taught and learned from over 1500 children. My daughter and son are also Eureka kids and AID is my family.”
M. Devi takes tablet computers and projectors to schools in Sholingur block, Ranipet district, to conduct classes in math and English. During the pandemic she kept track of children’s progress via phone. Currently she trains teachers who go to villages to guide children in hands-on science experiments. She also conducts classes in prevention of child sexual abuse.
Devi is working towards a BA degree through distance education and is herself a single woman taking care of her parents and daughter, after getting divorced due to dowry harassment. She is a role model for her community, showing that a woman can lead her life with courage and dignity. Here she is pictured while presenting an update on the Eureka Super Kids program, running in 24 blocks of 11 districts, with more than 200 trained tutors working with 6000 children in 206 villages.