Impact Stories

Sunita Baberia’s Story

 

“We wake up before the last twinkling star gets consumed, and quickly brush our teeth. Ablutions over, it’s time for breakfast, and then onwards we march to school.”

Bharti case story 1Nine-year-old Sunita Baberia sings these lines in her native Bhili while walking ahead of us, her bare feet playfully producing clouds of dust. She is leading us to her home, situated at a five-minute walk from her school in Piploda Bada village of the Meghnagar block in tribal-dominated Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh.

The school song is a new acquisition. Barely a year back, Sunita was one of the several children of this tribal community who had to drop out of school and accompany her parents to the neighbouring state of Gujarat. For a vast majority of families inhabiting this region, seasonal migration is the only constant in life. Lack of livelihood options, coupled with erratic rain patterns leading to parched fields, repeatedly push these impoverished people to neighbouring states of Gujarat or Maharashtra where they work as unskilled labourers and save enough for a few months. And then the cycle repeats.
Despite a strong inherent urge for education, Sunita’s ambitions were beset by her family’s chronic poverty that forced her to accompany her migrating parents and kept her from joining a school. In June 2015, upon her return from Surat in Gujarat, Sunita’s family was approached by Education Volunteers (EVs) from Humana People to People India (HPPI). At first, her grandmother, a feisty 60-year-old, was apprehensive of the EVs’ persistence of sending Sunita to the nearby Government primary school. She vehemently defended her decision to not send her granddaughter to the school, arguing the latter’s function as a productive earning member of the family.

However, sustained efforts by the EVs paid off and today Sunita has been successfully mainstreamed as a 4th grade student at Government Primary School, Piploda Bada. During the nine months spent at the HPP-run Step up Centre, Sunita received specially designed content for accelerated learning and individual attention from EVs that filled her academic gaps, while providing much needed social conditioning to re-join the mainstream classes at the school.
With a focus on developing overall personality of children, the programme at the Centre lays special emphasis on improving personal hygiene and social habits, while addressing their academic needs.

Sunita’s story has inspired many in her village and her elder sister, Sangita, recently enrolled at the Centre. Sustained contact by passionate EVs is imperative to change the generations-old mind-set towards significance of education, as proven by the Step up Centre’s engagement with the families of the region. Sunita’s grandmother, today, is a vocal supporter of girls’ education in her village and as a village elder has been encouraging more families to send their children to the school.

As for the barefoot girl with a song in her heart, Sunita is on her way to achieve her ambition of being a “doctor one day and help people of her village” in times of their need, one step at a time.

 

Read 14 more inspirational stories from Step-up centres in Madhya Pradesh here 

More Impact Stories from HPP's work in India

Jharna outside her huble salon named after he daughter

Mascara in the shantytown

In fortitude, the courageous forge their providence. This dictum holds particularly true for 43-year-old Jharna Bairagya of Nathupur slum cluster in Gurugram, Haryana. The rapid metro whizzes overhead and the multinational offices across the road…
E IMG 2922

Samarth Girls Programme: Nurturing Dreams into Reality

Once one says ‘yes’ to positivity, the affirmation turns contagious. And 9-year old Divya Kumari is a living testimony of the dictum. Since the three years she came to Dharuhera from her native Uttarakhand, the 9-year-old has experienced a sea…
Small E IMG 3131

Financial Literacy: A New Era of Women Empowerment

22-year-old Mamta Devi of Rajgarh tehsil in Rajasthan is fidgety as she sits on the charpoy, next to her husband, clutching her one-year-old daughter nervously with both her hands. She has good reasons to be anxious. After all, women sitting next to…
Bharti case story 1

Sunita Baberia’s Story

Sunita Baberia’s Story “We wake up before the last twinkling star gets consumed, and quickly brush our teeth. Ablutions over, it’s time for breakfast, and then onwards we march to school.” Nine-year-old Sunita Baberia sings these lines in her native…
Narmada NaiDisha2

Nai Disha: Cutting Through the Caste Lines

At 50-years of age, Narmada Devi’s commanding voice and confident demeanour point to a life of relative opulence. A resident of Rajgarh village in Alwar district of Rajasthan, she belongs to a region where caste plays a major role in defining the…
E IMG 4528

Socially conscious with Ilam Mottukal Programme

Amidst the usual din of learning at the Academic Support Centre (ASC) at TNDTA school, an animated young student is busy feverishly explaining and engaging members of her class group in a discussion on the functions of different body parts. Her…
Nai Disha

A bovine push to a literate future

While monsoon rains have been sparse in these parts this year and a curtailed crop yield is the hot topic of discussion in most of the Nuh district of Haryana, in a small rustic section of Malab village here, Sunita’s buffalo is the talk of the…
arti

Meet Arti, an AWC Nemmrana Student

Meet Arti, an AWC Neemrana Student “After my father’s suicide, I felt shattered and hopeless. My family’s future seemed bleek ” This could have been the end of Arti’s story but it became the beginning of a valiant struggle against her circumstances…

Aseem- A story of struggle and triumph

Aseem- A story of struggle and triumph Aseem a 9 year old vivacious boy lives with his family in slums of Chakkapur village, Gurgaon. Just like an average 9 year old he is mischievous, spirited and curious but that is where the similarities end.…
outofschoolgirls girleducation pooreducation

Meet Parmeena from Haryana Girls Education Center

Meet Parmeena from Haryana Girls Education Centre Parmeena, the twelve year old daughter of Akhtar and Rahisan, lives in Ghasera village of Mewat, Haryana. The belief that she has been brought up in a conservative environment was reinstated when the…

About HPPI

Humana People to People India is a development organization registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 as of 21st May 1998. It is a non-political, non-religious organization. Its mission is to unite with people in India in order to create development in the broadest sense through the implementation of the projects that aim at transferring knowledge, skills and capacity to individuals and communities who need assistance to come out of poverty and other dehumanizing conditions.

Image Gallery

Our Newsletter


Contact Us

Humana People to People India
111/9-Z, Kishangarh, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg,
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070 Tel: 011-4746-2222
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.