Komal lost her father when she was eight-years-old. At a very young age she understood the meaning of struggle in her life.
Her family came to Delhi from adjacent and India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh in 2005 with the dream of a better life.
In 2009, the family’s dream came to a shocking halt. Komal’s father met with an accident and after a three-month battle, succumbed to his injuries.
“Mera papa ni rahe aur ma gao chali gaye” (my father passed away and my mother moved to our native village.)
With no source of earning in the family, Komal, her three younger siblings and her mother moved to their village in Firozabad (UP).
But soon, Komal and her siblings returned to Delhi to live with their grandmother and continue their education.
To Komal’s surprise, her name was deleted from the school’s register. “Mera naam kat gaya tha school se” (My name was removed from the school), says Komal.
The 13-year-old had no other choice but to stay at home and look after her siblings and her ageing grandmother.
Empowerment for Rehabilitation Academic & Health (EFRAH), then came into Komal’s life.
In 2011 she enrolled in the remedial classes of EFRAH, that helped Komal to cover the six-month backlog.
She then took admission in class 7th in a government school. Komal’s other three siblings, with the help of EFRAH, were also enrolled in the government school under Right to Education (RTE).
“Mujhe padhna aacha legta hai” (I like studying a school) says Komal.
She only gets annoyed by her grandmother now, who does not allow Komal to go out and play with her friends.