Bhuvana's mother was trying to get 14yr old Bhuvana married to 50yr old man Deva in her tribal community. It would be Deva's 2nd marriage. As Deva did not have a son from the 1st marriage, he was eager to get a male heir from Bhuvana.
Bhuvana was distraught. She loved going to school. She did not want to get married but she realized her mother's difficulties. Her mother had to tend to her and her sister since her father abandoned them. Her father hated daughters. After her sister was born, he had left them. She was happy her father left home as he used to drink every day and beat up her mother. It was very difficult to see her mother crying in pain every day.
I am Suchitra. I work for Microsoft in California, USA. At the end of a stressful work day in California, my friend who runs a NGO in India called me. She works among tribal and rural families near Coimbatore in Tamilnadu. She told me about Bhuvana's plight and my heart went out to her. The struggles these tribal children (in a remote village near Coimbatore) have to go through to get basic education are heart breaking.
The schools are far away from their homes as they live close to the forest. They can hardly follow the lessons in school. They need some extra coaching as they are the first generation going to school. Due to this and also pressure from their parents to earn and support their families many of them are dropping out of school and have started to work in construction sites etc..
My friend's NGO - Thiru Oli works in 3 villages surrounding Coimbatore city. They start by doing street plays teaching the communities the importance of education. Then they encourage the children to go to school and provide any financial assistance that may be needed for that. They give the children regular free tuitions and day long classes on weekends along with food.
In the tuitions they also teach them music and dance. This helps the children to put up street plays for their own communities. Their families are more interested to see their own children perform. Hence they are able to educate the entire community on important issues like their rights, alcohol de-addiction, importance of educating girl children etc...
So they are helping to holistically educate the children and their communities.....
But they don't have a classroom to conduct their educational activities. All their activities are happening in the open air. As they are close to the forest, many wild animals and elephants stray into their area hampering their activities.
Thiru Oli NGO would like to build a single 11ft by 11ft room at a height of 15ft to allow elephants/wild animals to pass below freely. The classroom will be made of grill (channels) welded together and plywood. They could use this classroom for all their educational activities.
• If they are able to install solar panels on its roof in the near future, they will have electricity to conduct virtual classes through Skype (currently there is no electricity in the area).
• They could then have Math and English being taught to the tribal / rural children by volunteers in the city.
Rs.3.5 lakhs is needed to build this classroom.
This classroom will benefit around 80-100 children like Bhuvana.
These children are the future. Education can truly change their lives. Please join me in donating to build this Classroom!