Published: 25th December 2021
Bringing education to their homes: This educator from Andhra Pradesh is transforming the lives of 25 kids
Even as COVID-19 forced these marginalised kids out of the school system, Begum took the initiative to visit their homes and help them stay in touch with education. Here's what happened next
Observing students out of school roaming the streets in worn-out clothes was what gave 47-year-old Thahasunnisa Begum the determination to bring these children closer to education. Near Tirupati's Anna Rao circle live 38 Scheduled Tribe families who are deprived of basic amenities. "All daily wagers, who never had the sophistication of a fixed job or salary, their children are not conditioned to regular schooling. They are always vulnerable to vices given their abnormal surroundings," says the educator.
Begum started bringing interactive classes every day to these students' homes for the last year and a half. COVID-19 made their lives even more difficult, with livelihoods going for a toss, resources drying up and these children being edged out of the education system; she went door-to-door to teach the children. She also took the initiative to distribute food and essential supplies in order to get the kids accustomed to her.
Among these children, many are malnourished, unaware of oral and basic hygiene and their basic subject knowledge is naught. "So, I used to distribute pastes, brushes, bath and detergent soaps and celebrate their birthdays and present dresses on special occasions to children in order to make them sit and listen to my classes," she adds.
Every day, between 5 to 7 pm, Thahasunnisa Begum and a few friends conduct tuition classes for the 25 children in the colony. "We teach them language subjects and motivate the children to attend classes daily. All of them are now attending classes daily at a nearby government school," Begum shares.
She adds that the children consist of all age groups ranging from Classes III-VIII. "As a mother, now I am happy that my two children have been regularly going to school. My children made rapid progress in learning the subjects with the help of tuition sessions conducted by Thahasunnisa Begum and her friends," says Polamma, a resident of the colony. On Sundays, Thahasunnisa Begum and the group take yoga and meditation classes for the children to bolster their physical and mental strength. For children to make further strides, Thahasunnisa Begum has requested like-minded people who can teach the students Sciences to join her troops.