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A day in the life of a 16-year-old Rani
Oxfam India / Naureen Khan and Education Program Coordinator, Binod K Sinha
Nearly two crore children are out-of-school in India* and most of them belong to the marginalized sector where families struggle to provide a day’s meal *(As per NSS data).
Due to household responsibilities and lack of basic facilities, quality education, safety and awareness, children especially girls drop out of school. Rani* is one of them. Read her story and how she is not giving up on her dream of education.
Photo Credit:Harshit Verma
Meet 16-year-old Rani. She hails from a small village in Raibareli, Uttar Pradesh. She remembers her school days and dreams of completing her education. Due to financial constraints and household responsibilities, Rani had to drop out of school after completing the seventh standard.
Her father Harilal is a woodcutter and her mother Sona is a housewife. Rani has three sisters and all have dropped out of school. Her elder sister is the most educated in the family. She studied till 10th standard before she was married.
Rani wakes up every day at 5 am and starts working on household chores. At a very young age, Rani has taken complete responsibility of the house. The very reason for not being able to attend school.
With little access to water, Rani travels many times a day to a nearby pump to fill multiple buckets and stores them for daily use.
She then cleans the house, washes utensils and feeds the buffalo nearby. Many girls like Rani sacrifice their education because of such responsibilities.
By 9 am Rani starts to prepare breakfast for the family.
While she burns the stove, her right to education is slowly being burned and compromised.
But Rani did not give up. Her passion to study lives on. She hurriedly gets ready to head towards a nearby Kishori Shiksha Kendra run by Oxfam India which provides educational training to drop-out girls.
Oxfam India's Education program recognizes drop-out children and provides them with engaging and interactive educational training so they do not miss out on their basic education. Oxfam India has covered many girls including Rani and her sisters under this program.
"Rani takes care of the household chores and her younger sisters. The government school is far from our home and we cannot afford the conveyance charges. My husband earns very less wages," says Sona, Rani's mother.
Burdened with responsibilities, the ray of hope has not faded away for Rani. "I want to become a teacher and encourage children to attend school and fulfil their dream."
To receive basic education especially for girls in marginalized communities is an enormous challenge. Despite the Right to Education Act in India, the quality of education is lacking. There is minimal awareness among communities and parents on the importance of education and how it can be the tool to break out of poverty.
Oxfam India works in the six poorest states of India. Through its Education program, Oxfam India continues to recognize drop-out children, provide them with educational training and help them enroll back in school. It helps in the implementation of the Right to Education Act so children are able to receive quality education and a positive learning environment. Oxfam also counsels parents and teachers on their role to help children grow and improve the education system to create a positive impact and to know their rights. When generous individuals like you continue to support Oxfam India’s work, we are able to campaign for Education program and enable children to build a better future. Due to donations from people like you, last year, nearly 86,113 children including 42,052 girls benefited through Oxfam India’s work.
*Name changed to protect identity
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