When helplessness paves the way for hopefulness…

Haresh Parmar, Team Leader, Dr. K. R. Shroff Foundation, Vadali

This is the story of Yuvraj, his yearning for learning and our teachers' endeavors to make it true! Gajipur is a beautiful but underdeveloped village of Taluka Vadali. As a foundation team leader of Gajipur Primary School, I frequently visit the village. Our consistent endeavor to provide the best quality education to kids many times hit a roadblock due to the absence of the students. We consistently endeavor to convince them to send their children to school and many times it brings positive results. 5th-grade student Yuvraj Sinh Dabhi is one such student. Due to his irregular presence at the school I, foundation coordinator Mr. Chetpal Sinh Champavat along with teachers Mr. Vipinbhai Patel and Mr. Chandrakantbhai Patel visited Yuvraj’s house. Still, we cannot forget the heart-wrenching scene created on that day.

When we went to his place, his father was not at home and the mother was also in hurry to leave for work. His mother's version of the situation literally shook us. She told us that since Yuvaraj’s father is addicted to bad habits, she has to work to make ends meet. So, she expected Yuvraj to work, take care of siblings and help the family. Soon she left for work leaving us alone with Yuvaraj. Tearfully Yuvaraj pleaded with us about his wish to study and need to find some night work to support his mother. This way, he could study and work both. We were moved by the maturity of this 10-year-old kid. After returning, we instructed teachers to be compassionate towards Yuvaraj and also instructed the mid-day meal coordinator to provide Yuvraj enough food.

But kudos to our teachers who didn’t stop at just this! They didn’t give up on their pursuit and honest intentions. Through repeated visits, they convince his parent’s about his bright future, his love for studies and his commitment. Eventually, it worked and his parent’s started to develop a positive vision. Now, Yuvraj was coming to school regularly with a smile on his face and that made us happy. Then after Diwali vacation, Yuvaraj surprised us with a new cycle gifted by his father. Things were turning positive as his entire family, including father, worked hard during Diwali and could save some money. It was proud and one of the most contented moments for us as our teachers’ hope bore the fruit of a bright future for a student.