Prerna Girls School Case Studies
All the girls at Prerna have scary and inspiring stories. These girls have brutal home lives. Lives that are hard, violent, abusive, powerless and very poor. Many of these girls are not touched at home, except to be beaten. Their fault is being female, lower caste and poor. Not much further you can fall in the universal power ladder. They have no control over their lives, their earnings, and their bodies. Yet they engage in their studies, come to school regularly and put in the work they need to do. This is their hope to get a new life … to fulfill a dream that they have dared to have.
There are many more such strong girls cleaning someone else’s home and dishes, supporting an alcoholic father and getting married off at 13. There are many more than we can currently support with our modest funds. These girls have risen above their circumstances and want to grow up to be doctors, teachers, pilots and business women … help them reach their dreams …
Susheela is 16 years old and studies in Class 11. She lives in Vishal Khand 2. They are living there in the capacity of caretakers of the plot. Her father Harilal Sharma is a rickshaw puller. He earns Rs 10 to 50 per day, he may or may not earn but returns home at 10 pm at night. A few years back in July, he started taking school children to school on monthly basis and earns Rs 1500/ per month. He is a severe alcoholic.
Susheela’s mother washes utensils in one house and earns Rs 200. She also earns some extra money through massaging. Massage gets her Rs 40 -50 per day. Susheela had 2 brothers who suffer an acute ailment. One of her brother couldn't fight the ailment and passed away last year. They are 4 sisters, youngest is in KG in Prerna
Susheela earns Rs 900/ per month by working in 3 houses. Her job consists of sweeping and washing utensils. She has been working since the last 6 years. Her earnings are spent on family and medicines for brothers. Her personal needs are taken care of by two ladies in whose houses she works. She can ask for notebooks, clothes, etc..
Susheela got herself admitted in Prerna without anyone’s help. Parents don’t support her rather want that she should discontinue. She is happy at her workplace. She gets tea, biscuit snacks and if she is working late then at times, she gets food as well. She is more close to her mother because her father uses bad language and beats her mother.
She wakes up at 8 am., leaves for work in the next half an hour, at 12 noon she returns home and eats the left over of previous day, incase no food is left, then she prepares lunch and goes to school.
At 6pm, she returns from school, changes her uniform and goes to work. At 8pm she returns and then washes utensils, fills water and cooks food as her mother takes care of her brother. After eating her dinner and finishing all her work she goes to her aunt’s place and does her studies, as at home there is no electricity and a lot of noise. Susheela wants to be a doctor. She is no longer discouraged by her circumstances. Now in Class 6, she is a good student, at the top of her class with a 92% score in her final exam last year.
Jyoti is 9 years old and studies in class I. She lives in Jugouli Gaon, Gomti Nagar in a rented house. It is a one-room house for which they pay Rs 500 per month as rent. Father Motilal is a washer man but does not give any money at home because he spends the same on alcohol. His excessive drinking habit often becomes the cause of quarrel between parents.
Mother Suman also goes to different houses for washing clothes. Jyoti has no idea of her work and income. The family consists of 1brother and 3 sisters. At home, Jyoti cleans the utensils, wipes the floor, cuts the vegetables and washes clothes sometimes. Mother and sister do the cooking. She could not express much about her needs and dreams.
Khushboo Rawat and Soni Rawat
Khushboo is 18 years and studies in class XI. Her sister Soni is 8 years old and studies in Class I. They live in Vishal Khand-1, Digdiga. They are a Hindu Kshatriya family. Father Vinod Rawat is a plumber by profession but usually does not get work. If he is lucky then he earns about Rs 2000 per month, He is a severe alcoholic who is totally against the daughter and wife working. He often beats up his wife and does not allow girls to go out. Khushboo fears that any day she can be forced to stop her studies.
Mother Kusuma, she is the 3rd wife. There are 6 children in the family -5 daughters and 1 son. Khushboo has to do all the household work and her stepmother takes care of younger kids. Both sisters love coming to Prerna as they feel very happy here, nobody beats them and they can confide in their teachers.
She wants to become a teacher but feels sorry that due to a very hectic schedule at home she does not get time to study.
Kiran is 7years old and is in class I. She does not know her address but can commute from school to home and back. Father Sunil is a washer man. Her mother when asked could not tell her name. Kiran’s mother works in 2 houses. Kiran sometimes goes with her mother to help. Kiran has one sister and one brother. Kiran likes chowmein. She lives in the present and when questioned about her future, she looked quite puzzled.
Monika is in Class K. G. Her mother Suman is a housewife. Her father Mahesh is a Guard at Lohia Park. Monika has 2 sisters. Nishi studies in class IV in Prerna and Prachi studies in class II.
They like Prerna School and want to make a good future. They have never been out for shopping or for any other enjoyment.
Meera is 11 years old and studies in class I. Father Badlu is a vegetable vendor, does not consume liquor regularly but mother often quarrels over this issue. Mother Radha works in 2 houses and earns Rs 550. There are 9 siblings in the family- 6 sisters and 3 brothers. Meera is allowed to go out with friends; she has often been to Lohia Park. Meera’s sisters work in houses, she herself works in 2 houses and earns Rs 750 per month.
She goes to work in the morning at 8.00, works till 11or 11.30 am, returns home, takes her bath, has her lunch and goes to school. In the evening she goes to work around 6 and within 1 or 2 hours comes back, then if there is no work at home, she sits with books, otherwise she has to help her sisters in cooking.
Meera says she is studying to become a teacher.