Sumitra lost her father by her third birthday when the younger sister was just a few months old. Father was killed in an accident while working as a laborer in an iron ore mines. Her mother was a home maker. After the untimely death of father, the sole bread earner of the family, her mother started working as daily laborer for bare survival. It is very difficult on the part of Sumitra’s mother to manage her family expenses. What she earns as daily wage is not sufficient as she is not a skilled laborer. Very often she finds hard to get a work and also at times skips work to attend family chores and younger child. Amidst such hardship and despair she always thought to give best education to children to see them independent and economically self reliant in future. At that difficult time spotting “KISS” was like a blessing for her.
“Due to illiteracy and ignorance the parents are not able to guide children in their studies and other activities as well. Most of the children in the village fall victim to wrong habits like alcohol abuse, tobacco chewing, aimless roaming neglecting studies and indulgence in bullying and quarrels.”
Sumitra was admitted to village school. While she was in grade 2, her mother felt that the quality of teaching in Govt. primary school was not good; teachers were irregular and very casual. There were no facilities for sports, games and learning arts and crafts .Due to illiteracy and ignorance the parents are not able to guide children in their studies and other activities as well. Most of the children in the village fall victim to wrong habits like alcohol abuse, tobacco chewing, aimless roaming neglecting studies and indulgence in bullying and quarrels. There was no scope for vocational education and skills training even in higher classes. She understood the obstacles in educating girls in a Juanga community. Therefore, when she got to know about KISS from the district coordinators she decided to grab it for the daughter who she never wanted to suffer like her in life.
By now, being an inmate of KISS, Sumitra has access to quality education, vocational training, life skills and many such growth opportunities. She loves her school very much. She said, “In vacations, I miss all my friends, the games and sports I play. I am happy that, I could get an opportunity to improve my singing, which is both a fun and fountain of happiness to me. I am grateful to my teachers and peers to make me feel so confident despite my wretched background. I have come a long way leaving behind the bad memories of childhood days. I will pursue my studies hard to succeed in life to take care of my mother and sister. I will, certainly I will”, she asserts.
Sumitra’s mother too is very happy and relaxed to see her daughter’s progress. The villagers often appreciate her conduct and behavior and give credits for that to her mother. During her stay at home, she teaches her mother and aunt to maintain hygiene during cooking and other household activities. She ensures that her sister washes hand properly before taking food. She has spread the word about cleanliness and hygiene among the neighbors and villages who too follow her sincerely since what she speaks has value for their life and wellbeing. Really, Sumitra is making her mother feel proud through her progress and deeds; may be blazing a new path for change for girls in her community and around.