Sunaina grew up seeing her father scorching himself under a fiery sun while toiling in a rented farm. “Not even a single day passed that my father, a farmer, didn’t come home with calluses on his hands and severe back pain,” recalls Sunaina.
She lives in a tiny makeshift shanty alongside the riverbed near Asha’s Chanderpuri slum colony. About 25 families reside in this deprived piece of land located in the eastern part of Delhi. The family, already on breadline, of eight, has been struggling with a monthly meagre income of Rs 7000 ($101.65 /£80.75) to make the ends meet.
“An Asha Student from the neighbourhood told us about Sunaina some two years ago. We walked across the fields for about 20 minutes and what we saw on arrival, was heart-breaking. Looking at how Sunaina lives could bring tears in anyone’s eyes; it struck the same to us,” says Ms Anita (an Asha Team Leader at Chanderpuri slum colony). “We could literally count the number of utensils and the total number of items in her shanty.
Sunaina has become one regular and active member of Asha since then. She received notes, guides, sample papers, tuitions and a comfortable place to study with the help from Asha Ambassadors and Graduates for these two years.
Sunaina was lost into her books ahead of her final examination when a well-wisher informed about her father meeting an accident. She spent the initial week of her exams running here and there in a bid to get his father treated. With the help of Asha CHV and Team Leader, her father is now getting treated at a nearby government hospital.
With the tremendous help and support from her family and Asha Team, she scored 86% in her school leaving exam and yesterday, secured a seat in B.A Programme in Zakir Husain College of the Delhi University. A pure-hearted and laborious Sunaina gives all the credit of her success to her parents and Asha Team.
With tears of joy in her eyes, Sunaina says,” This wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Asha and support from my family. I am the sole child in this house who dreamt of University Education and now on the verge of realising it.” No one in her family ever got to study beyond High School.
Despite all her adversaries, Sunaina’s efforts paid off! Inspired by other Asha Alumni, Sunaina believes that she will also make her career bright and become an English Teacher soon.