Herald: Hamara school helps underprivileged scale greater heights

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Hamara school helps underprivileged scale greater heights

30 May 2015 12:15am IST
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30 May 2015 12:15am IST
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Five youngsters from Hamara School in St Inez have passed their SSC Examinations with flying colours. One of the five, Kavita has even secured 86 per cent and has got admission for Science in Our Lady of Rosary Higher Secondary School, Dona Paula. A proud moment of victory for the children, who come from broken homes and who dream of a better future, Dolcy D’Cruz speaks to the young students about their success story to education.

Entering the premises of Hamara School in St Inez, one will notice a huge group of children laughing and playing around and enjoying themselves to the fullest. Coming from broken houses and a past of rag picking and working to fend for themselves, it is hard to find any trace of their history with their new attitude towards life. Next comes in a group of five youngsters, with a quick gait and a smile of achievement. They have recently passed their Secondary School Certificate Examination and are in the process of securing admissions for their desired courses in higher secondary schools in Panjim.

Behind each of the students is a story that has brought them closer as a group in studying and securing good results at the board exams. Javed Akhtar Shinnoor from Chimbel is an orphan who is supported by his paternal uncle and his grandmother. He was spotted selling plastic bags in the fish market in Panjim by a member of Children’s Rights in Goa who got him in contact with Hamara School. 

“I joined Hamara School and got admission in Class V at Kasturba Matoshri High School, Panjim from where I passed out with 50 per cent. I would have got better marks but my grandmother was admitted to hospital two months before the exams. I had to take care of her too but I gave my best. I had done well throughout the year in school but the final marks are important,” says Javed, who wants to get admission in Automobile engineering at ITI, Altinho, Panjim. As he recently turned 18, he is keen on working part time to support his friends at Hamara School.

Kavita Tukaram Chari has the responsibility of her two younger sisters who are also at Hamara School and yet secured 86 per cent in her board exams. “I am very happy and I want to continue studying. I want to study science and become either a doctor or engineer in mechanical or electronics,” says Kavita, who had earlier worked in Calangute and has no plans to do menial jobs anymore.

Kedar Ravi Pednekar is an interesting youngster as he sees the wonder in finer details. He loves photography and hopes to travel the world. His journey has been from sleeping at bus stands to studying in nearly five schools over the ten years of education. “I was in Government High School, Canacona, Shree Mallikarjun Vidhyalay High School, Canacona, Government High School, Dona Paula, Institute of instruction, Panjim and finally Kasturba Matoshri High School, Panjim. I want to own my own camera as I have done a photography course at Studio 7 with Assavri Kulkarni,” says Kedar who is hoping to get admissions in the Arts stream at Don Bosco, Panjim. 

Sana Saudagar, another child of a broken home has been with Hamara School right from Class I when she was admitted to Government High School, Ramdas, Panjim, till she passed out from Our Lady of Rosary, Dona Paula with 51 per cent. Originally from Karnataka, Sana will be applying for admissions in the Arts stream at Our Lady of Rosary, Dona Paula.

Shabina Ibrahim Sanadi is the eldest of three siblings and was a student of Government High School, St Inez, Institute of Instruction, Panjim and Mushtifund High school, Panjim and passed her board exams with 64 per cent. “I want to study civil engineering at Government Polytechnic, Panjim,” says Shabina with a chirpy smile.

The students were encouraged to study by their in-house teachers and care takers and also teachers who volunteered to teach them. Devesh Tanna taught them maths and Swati Shirodkar helped them speak and write English. “We used to discuss and study in a group as we had the same syllabus. Being together the entire day, we used to motivate one another to study well,” says Kavita.

Mangala Wagle who started Hamara School, Goa branch of the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, to educate and empower the underprivileged children is over joyous with the 100 per cent result. When asked why the children have to move from so many schools, she says, “The school don’t want to give admissions to these children because they are not accepted by society. They are worried about the reactions from parents of other students. The only way they are accepted is if they shine in their own way. Every child has the right to live a dignified life and get educated and perfect training is very important.” Hamara School currently houses 80 children from which 30 are day comers. They hope to have a permanent accommodation for the children soon.   

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