Ambika , a sweet little girl hails from Lodha community in Chilika block of Khurda district. She was born in a very poor family. She has two sisters and one brother. It is very difficult on the part of their parents to take care of the education of their 4 children. Like other parents, they had a dream to see their children grow to become successful persons in life. They didn’t want their children to suffer like them. But they were constrained heavily by means as it was difficult for them to spend for good education. They were particularly worried about the daughters and used to severe when imagine about all the cruelties and helplessness which poverty could bring in their future.
They somehow managed till the girls completed elementary level in local school. They knew it may be the end of the daughter’s career since the meagre government scholarship was not enough to continue in a distant place for secondary classes. They were becoming more and more desperate but no solution was in sight. The daughters too were eager to continue but keeping silence realising the terrible economic condition of the family. When inquired about their plans, they drew blank as tears used to roll down those innocent cheeks. They were mortally afraid of life without schools. They learnt about the violence and exploitation suffered by girls at the hand of strangers when move out for work.
In such cases, there are multiple instances about parents forced to discontinue schooling of their daughters in preference to son’s education hoping to secure their own future. Thus, under such limitations and parental pressures, daughters fall victim to discrimination knowingly or unknowingly. Daughters very often compromise their dreams and come forward to sacrifice allowing brothers to pursue studies to fulfill aspiration of the parents and have capacity to share family burden and future responsibilities. This typical pattern of socialisation discriminating against girls is a common experience in hundreds of rural families.
“They didn’t want their children to suffer like them. But they were constrained heavily by means as it was difficult for them to spend for good education.”
Ambika and her sister had a different verdict of destiny. Their joy knew no bounds, when they learnt about the prospect of continuing schooling that to free of cost and with full dignity and comfort and the globally famous KISS dedicated for educating tribal children. Parents were very happy too. Soon Ambika joined in class VII. She was very delighted when her younger brother and sister also got admitted here to different classes. Time passed by but in few years Ambika has matured in to a very confident and brave young woman pursuing her graduation at KISS. She has been very nostalgic about each moment of her transformational journey from obscurity to identity.
When asked, Ambika finds it difficult to paint her feelings about KISS. When probed she revealed “KISS is just a dreamland for me. I got what I wanted but most importantly care, affection and support to rediscover myself and establish in life. I am no less than son, I will prove it all thanks to the education and vision I am gifted in KISS. It is the noblest experience in my life as I see millions of dreams come true. I only wish this chain continues to trigger the most exiting change process in intergenerational transformation especially in the tribal communities of the state.” She was unstoppable but I could see the signs of satisfaction and jubilance in her face. I too wish all our daughters be as happy as Ambika