Tuesday, December 1, 2009

26/11 Looking Back, Looking Ahead 9

Priyanka Chaturvedi, Entrepreneur and Recruitment Consultant, is the force behind India Helps pavement schools. She singlehandedly manages to devote time and attention to our three co-run pavement schools which cater to children from the streets and the slums, helping them get a better education for those already enrolled in municipal schools and for those who dont go to any school, the basic education. Thanks to Priyanka, the schools have grown from a strength of 35 odd when we started to around 150 odd children on a daily basis. These are her words:

26/11 turned out to be the defining moment of my life and made me strongly believe that if we want to see a change we should start by being the change.
As I sat in front of the television watching the horror unfold there was just one thing on my mind, it was to reach out to the victims and help, help in anyway I could. For days after that all I could recall were the images of baby Moshe, the anxious families waiting outside the hotels, the brave martyrs who lost their lives to save ours and the poor victims at CST. Thanks to India Helps I also managed to pitch in to help these victims.
India Helps not just helped the victims but also managed to change my mind set of 'kuch nahi ho sakta' to that of any help big or small can bring about a change. It makes me happy that India Helps could play a part in helping a lot of the affected families reclaim their lives

Poverty, hunger and illiteracy are the main reasons that lead the young to the path of self destruction. All the identified terrorists of 26/11 were such youngsters who were lured to do this for money. IH got involved with a set of like minded people and helped in setting up three pavement schools in Goregaon. These schools help children from underprivileged backgrounds study. Some of the kids do not even go to formal schools. We try to make education as interesting as possible for them.We have organised a picnic for the kids, an educational trip to the Museum and Nehru Planetarium (with Rotary Club) and have celebrated Independence Day and Children's Day. We are now planning a Christmas Party for these kids. Thanks to IH intervention the three schools have grown in strength!
I still remember our first meeting -- all a bunch of novices getting together with just one desire, the desire to help and reach out. IH sure has come a long way from where we started!

Priyanka Chaturvedi

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