Here is a wonderful story of an Asha student Kajal who lives in a one room shanty in a slum in the Kalkaji neighborhood. Her father was diagnosed with kidney disease and this drove the family into destitution since the kids were young and he was the only bread earner in the family. They began to eat one meal a day and sometimes not even that. One of the kidneys had to be removed. Eventually, the other kidney went into failure as well. He developed cataract in both eyes. What a tragedy for a man living in poverty and trying to raise a family.
Kajal’s brother got married and abandoned his family. Although he was earning, he did not offer them any support, and discontinued his relationship with them. Sorrow upon sorrow.
Kajal had a dream to study. She saw the other Asha students going to university. How I wish I could go too, she thought. But there was no money for books, for any other resources. One day, an Asha Ambassador visited her home and invited her to visit the Asha center. She entered a whole new world and was excited! Her dreams were rekindled as she began to receive all help from the Asha team in the form of resources, IT assistance, tutoring, mentoring, emotional support and much else. Kajal would come to the center everyday, preparing for her school leaving exams as well as the dreaded CUET.
However Kajal’s parents made it clear to her that they would get her married after high school since they believed that would be the best course of action for her life. The Asha team spoke with her many times, also assuring her that they would take care of the financial expenses.
Today Kajal has found a place in a Bachelors of Arts Program in Liberal Arts at Delhi University! Can you imagine her joy and her delight? She says she doesn’t have enough words to express gratitude to the Asha family. She has gone through unimaginable struggles living in such great poverty all her life, and never allowing herself to believe that her dream would come true. Way to go Kajal! Our love, our support and our prayers are always with you. We will not let go until you realize your dreams, no matter what it takes.