Stories of kids connected with Arthan Foundation
Over the last year, Arthan Foundation has been able to enrich the lives of over 2500 kids with ‘Daftar Duniya’, an educational and career counselling programme for government school children. Every child we have connected with has big dreams and now they are confident enough to pursue those dreams. During and post the training, the results and response from the kids have always been exhilarating and it only pushes us forward to work harder and makes us realise that so many more children need this and therefore, much work is left to be done.
Every once in a while, we come across kids whose stories inspire us. It solidifies our work and helps us realise that this is why we do what we do. Here are the stories of three kids amongst many, who chose to dream bigger than they are and are working to make them a reality.
Meena’s story starts with her first flight to Srinagar that happened when she was 12. She is a girl from Delhi from a low-income household and therefore, her father told her that this could be her first and last flight. From what she had heard from people, she expected her flight experience to be smooth but little did she know that travelling to Srinagar would be a totally different experience. The 7 layers of excessive checking increased the hassle for a first-time flyer. Their panic levels rose at every point because they were not warned about this. This being her first time, Meena was scared when she was boarding the flight. On seeing this, one of the air hostesses provided her with a glass of juice and a few chocolates. She was stunned as no one had behaved like this with her before and made her feel special. In her time of fear, the air hostess seemed like an angel to her. Later when the flight took off, there was a lot of turbulence and to add to that chaos, a lot of them in the flight were first time flyers. The cabin crew handled the chaos with grace and they individually consoled every petrified passenger.
The behaviour and the professionalism of the cabin crew intrigued Meena and she had so many questions like ‘How can they be so warm and helpful to people they do not even know?’, ‘How are they so sharply dressed, can speak English and yet are so polite at the same time?’. This was the first time that Meena had experienced helpful and yet professional behaviour. She was inspired by the way they looked, carried themselves and mainly how they helped everyone onboard and that was the day she decided that she would someday want to be one of them. There’s a societal tendency to look down on girls who become air hostesses instead of taking up other jobs. But Meena does not pay heed to all of that because the notion of helping people has always been her primary source of interest.
They say that real life inspiration from careers is the most impactful to a jobseeker or a future jobseeker and Meena was inspired by the air hostesses, so much that she has not changed her ambition in the last 4 years and is diligently working to make this dream a reality.
The second story revolves around Rajan, a 17-year-old boy from Delhi who aspires to become a dancer. He wants to do ‘English’ ‘Hip-hop’ dance. His interest began when he saw the dances during his community festivals and eventually, he wanted to take part too. He could not afford to sign up for dance classes so therefore, he started learning from YouTube. At first, he was starstruck with all the things he saw for the first time on YouTube. He slowly started to mimic the dance moves that he saw and he used the mirror as his teacher.
Rajan had started taking up dance in class 6 and by class 10, he had learnt close to 20 dance forms just via YouTube. He then appeared for a lot of local competitions from which he won quite a few. Since there was a lack of resources from his side, he could not enrol himself for classes under semi-professional dancers and teachers. The journey is going to be a little longer and a little tougher for him but we have no doubt that he would make it.
As of now, he is completing his tenth grade and running his dance academy at the same time which mostly pays for his education and his investment for his future as a dancer. The lack of financial support from anywhere else has not become a hindrance in Rajan’s journey to make himself and live as a professional dancer.
The final story here is of Suresh who is also a Delhi boy and from low-income background. He is a science enthusiast and an ‘academic champion’ in his locality because he was one of the very few that actually took science and wanted to study further. Suresh is crazy about Elon Musk, ISRO, NASA etc and wants to study about space.
Suresh has been trying a lot from his side but he is not able to land scholarships that would take him further into his dream of becoming an astronaut. The disheartening revelation here is that he does not have a clue as to how to go about with his higher studies and his job. As of now, his love for science can be seen when he uses refurbished materials to do his experiments which he learns via YouTube. He has not given up yet and does not want to rest until he gets his dream job.
Our team at Arthan Foundation is able to connect with bright young lives like these and help them make a difference by equipping them with all that they need to navigate their professional space.
This is why we do what we do.