12 Nov 2019

Premlata - Conquering Tragedy

Premlata was living a peaceful and happy life with her husband, raising their two daughters in the remote and rural Badgaon block of Udaipur district, southern Rajasthan. As with the majority of families in the area we work in, they were living on a small piece of land, surviving off subsistence agriculture.

Then tragedy struck. Premlata's husband died, and, just two years later, one of her daughters also passed away. For many people, this would have been enough to make them to give up. However, Premlata remained determined to carry on and raise her other daughter the best she could.

She attempted to look for jobs in her village but, as is the case for many women in rural and tribal communities, was unable to find any employment. During her search, Premlata noticed that many children in her community were helping their parents work, or doing nothing at all. There was no school in the village, and these children were not receiving any form of education and their parents were showing a lack of concern about this. She had heard of Seva Mandir's Shiksha Kendras (bridge schools for 6-14 year olds) in other villages. She contacted us to start a Shiksha Kendra in her community - and later that year, it opened. Determined to deliver quality education to the village, she enrolled nearly all of the children from her community in the Shiksha Kendra. The community recognised the sheer hard work and determination of Premlata and started to acknowledge the importance of education.

14 years later, Premlata is still working to deliver a quality education to the village, and many of Premlata's students have graduated into government and private schools. However, it is not just the children who are receiving an education; Premlata has enrolled herself in adult education and is due to graduate from 12th Standard in 2020.

Premlata is an inspiration to her community and, even through tragic circumstances, has shown an absolute determination to deliver education to rural children so that they may have the best opportunities possible in their lives.

Read more about Seva Mandir's Education programme.

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