The true blessings one gets to keep for one self are actually the ones that one gives away to the needy.  I came to think about this recently after I happen to know about a cute little girl called Sapna Kumari. This little girl is a student of fifth grade at Max Vision School , Basai Chowk, Gurugram. Sapna is a bubbly child of destiny who hops around in jubilation. She proudly announces her meritorious feat at the school to anyone who cares to listen. After all she has stood second at the school.  She wants to be a teacher after she grows up. She feels there is no better person than a good teacher.

Her own teachers are her role models. Her school has changed her life for the better. Her short life has taught her many serious lessons in life. She knows the pain of hunger first hand. She says

“ I have grown up seeing my parents work for ever but somehow for no fault of theirs, we often had to choose between buying food or medicine. When someone in our family fell sick, sometimes we skipped our meals altogether.At times my parents got no work and then my mother often went without food, so that I may eat However, since I have joined this school at least my mother would no longer remain hungry because of me, as I am provided with food free of cost at the school. I love my parents, but the constant stress of poverty and hunger at home made me weary and dull’.

Oh! My god, I was stunned to hear,…..a ten-year old, articulating her house hold plight as though an old women at the twilight of a fulfilled existence would… a child, mature far beyond her years due to her circumstances.    A few years back Sapna was a poor child of lower middle class parents from Haryana. Her parents struggled hard whole day long to make both ends meet for their family. While her mother stitched clothes for her neighborhood ladies, her father slogged at a local shop which sold coolers and refrigerators. Even after working hard the whole day they were not left with even a penny to spare after meeting the household expenses. With no money left for educating their children they decided to enroll their children at a local study centre.

The teachers took no interest in teaching the kids. As a result Sapna failed in her annual exams. Sapna was packed and sent back home to her village as her parents could not afford to raise a ‘lazy’ child who refused to study. Sapna’s pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears and it failed to move her parents. All her attempts to tell them that her teachers did not teach went unheard. Sapna went back taking her unfulfilled dream of becoming a teacher buried deep in her heart. Luckily, as destiny would have it, during her next annual visit to her parents, the family learnt about the Max Vision School at Gurugram which is run in collaboration with ‘Feeding India”. They decided to give one last chance to Sapna and today she has trodden towards a path of excellence due the combined efforts of her own and the forthcoming support from ‘Max school’ and ‘Feeding India’.

Today she has been provided with wings to her “Sapna”(Dream) as her name suggests, which literally means “dream” in Hindi.  This is not an end to the story. The story of success has just begun.

Mallika Chugh
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