It is once more Friday, the day to introduce you to one of our school children. Today is Tamanna’s turn. Tamanna is eleven years old and she is in the fourth class of our school.
Tamanna’s family comes from a village in the surrounding area of Vrindavan. In her life, Tamanna has already moved several times. Their family has a field at their village but it was not enough to feed Tamanna’s uncles and their families as well. So Tamanna’s father decided to move to Delhi, the metro city in order to find work. He did find work in a factory. Unfortunately, that factory closed, so they moved to Gurgaon, in the Delhi area, when he found a job there. That factory closed and the family moved to another suburb of Delhi for another job. He was checking merchandise that went out of a warehouse. He got transferred from there though and ended up at a post where he just didn’t understand the work. That’s how they came and moved to Vrindavan.
Having thus been in three different schools already, Tamanna finally joined the fourth class of our school while her brother is attending a higher school. Now, their father is running a small shop, near their rented room selling notebooks, pencils and other stationery and utensils.
Even with this work however, they are still financially in a difficult situation: the shop’s monthly rent costs 500 Rupees, the boy’s school fees are 1100 Rupees per month and then there is their room rent of 1500 Rupees for a small room and a kitchen! That makes about 50 US-Dollar only for that! If Tamanna’s father is lucky, he gets this much income in a month from his shop – but electricity, food and other expenses need to be paid as well! Mostly they have to rely on the help of their family, Tamanna’s grandfather, who comes every few weeks and gives a share of the income of their fields.
When we heard the amount that they pay for the boy’s school, we were astonished: they are sending him to an expensive private school close to our Ashram even though they don’t have much money! But while they know the value of education and do everything to give the best possible to their son, they don’t care much about educating their daughter in the same way! If she did not study at our free school, they would definitely not put her in such a good school as her brother!
Tamanna’s mother tells us they may move back to their village after this school year and are just thinking that this wouldn’t be good for the boy’s education. Tamanna however wants to stay, too. She may not have a bed to sleep in but sleeps with her brother on a mattress on the floor, but she is happy in Vrindavan.
She enjoys going to school and has many friends. The teacher tell that you can see what she likes reflected in her marks: in English, she is doing well but Hindi gives her problems.
We do our best to support Tamanna’s family by providing her free education and food. We hope that they will be able to stay in Vrindavan so that the girl’s education won’t be interrupted once more.