Once upon a time, Beawar Khas in Ajmer was known for its varied business ventures. Today, however, marble trading is the only source of income for those living in this village.
There are two problems that are spreading through the community here like a plague – alcoholism and an apathy towards education. Those associated with the marble business don’t take their children’s education seriously. When the children are old enough, they have them join the family business for an extra hand. A victim of this apathy towards education was the future of a girl named Asha, who had to drop out of school due to these community evils.
Asha’s family was considered to be one of the most successful and wealthier families in the village. However, after the death of her grandfather, things began to go downhill for them. Asha’s father, who was an occasional drinker earlier, became a complete alcohol addict. He spent most of his money on buying alcohol. Right from his wife’s jewellery to everything else that could have been spent on improving their family’s future was completely drained.
Asha’s two younger sisters and older brother had started looking to neighbours and relatives to get two meals a day to feed themselves. Looking at the terrible condition of their family, their maternal relatives took their older brother with him and had him join a local school in their village. Asha, who had been going to school for two years, wasn’t so lucky and had to drop out in 2016.
Amidst all these difficult times the family was going through, the arrival of new members in the family hadn’t stopped. Soon after Asha dropped out of school, her mother delivered another child, due to which any scope of her going back to school seemed unlikelier.
Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator had seen Asha in school regularly earlier, however, on realizing she had been absent for a long while, he decided to meet Asha’s father. He found her father sitting outside their house, drunk in the middle of the day. When he enquired why Asha was out of school, her father made excuses saying that she was needed to take care of their new child. However, when he spoke to Asha’s mother, she said that Asha wasn’t going to school due to a lack of money. She didn’t even have decent clothes to wear at home except tatters, so buying a school uniform seemed out of question.
Their condition was so bad that their daily meals were made out of grains donated by villagers. Asha’s father used to offer to make announcements to every house in the village by means of which he used to get some grains and other items that helped sustain their family.
On learning the true condition of their family, the Field Coordinator first contacted a local donor to help procure some clothing for Asha and her siblings. He then spoke to the Headmaster of the local government school and she was enrolled in Class 3 again!
Despite the perils faced at an early age, Asha is an extremely sharp child. She already clearly remembers the months of a year and days in a week in English, her favourite subject in school. She already dreams of getting a job after completing her education to lift her family out of poverty.