Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Parmeena + Girls Bridge School, Mewat, Haryana, India, 2015


In time for this weekend's benefit for the girls' schools, Humana People to People India just sent this testimonial. She attends a Girls Education Centre in Mewat, Haryana… a predominantly Muslim region. This is her story, and I look forward to seeing her in less than two weeks.
Parmeena, the twelve year old daughter of Akhtar and Rahisan, lives in Ghasera village of Mewat. The belief that she has been brought up in a conservative environment was strengthened when the staff of Girls Bridge Education centre approached her parents and they flatly denied the need to educate her. However, with consistent efforts and support of other satisfied parents in the community, the staff could gradually convince them to enrol Parmeena at the Centre. She used to attend the Centre for half a day and then used to leave for her Urdu classes. It was tough with her as the teachers had to start from the scratch in every subject.
The staff started with the basics in every subject and she started catching up at a slower pace. Her parents paid regular visits to the Centre, to ensure whether she is really studying and is able to learn! It has been eleven months that she has been attending the Centre and has started doing basic arithmetic like addition/subtraction and is able to read small words in Hindi. The progress so far, has been able to convince her parents that their decision to send her to the centre was not wrong. She has also started devoting proper time to the Centre and has tweaked the timings of the Urdu classes, which is a fair indicator of her progress and the changed perception of the parents.