Community Mondays: Joining School

Your daily dose of Saath today contains a story from the community. Neelam, a student at our Child Friendly Space in Vasna, shares her story. Child Friendly Spaces are non-formal school set ups for child-labourers. 

Neelam is an 8-year-old ambitious student at Vasna CFS. The center’s teacher, Jayshreeben, found Neelam selling vegetables in the street and invited her to join the school. She and her three siblings (Roshni, Neena, and Yug) have been attending Vasna CFS center since November 2009.

Neelam Waghela

When Neelam first joined, she did not know how to read and write, and did not like to play with her classmates. She also very much disliked  to speak in class. However, Neelam slowly became more confident and out-going, and now she actively participates in class. Learning reading and writing are her favorite subjects, and she also loves the snacks the teacher gives her.

Her mother Dayaben says that even when she feels very tired after helping with household tasks, she refuses to miss class. Dayaben says about her daughter, “Neelam is very intelligent and hard-working” and she is very confident that Neelam will do well in any formal school. Jayshreeben agrees with Neelam’s mother and pointed out that Neelam is actually ready to go into 3rd standard, but her parents cannot afford the tuition fees.

Given her strong motivation to studying, Neelam’s parents would like her to complete post-secondary school. Neelam said during an interview that she loves everything about her teacher and that in fact she would like to become a teacher herself when she grows up.


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