Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sometimes we get lucky

Recently, when we were distributing our care packages for our Project Food and More effort at the HIV clinic, a girl walked up to us and asked for some help.

Sowmya lives near the clinic with her parents in a one-room rented house, and her dad takes day labor jobs in the area. He's got chronic back pain so can't always work.

Anyway, we asked her what she needed. Sowmya said that she needed money for her school fees for this year. She started in 12th grade (PUC 2) in the science curriculum (one of the most difficult in the Indian education system) this year and seriously wants to become an engineer. Her family had no money to pay her tuition this year, which was Rs. 7000 (US$140). She gets a discount because of her caste and low income status.

We help a lot of really great kids, and when someone like Sowmya comes out of the blue for help, it's a real treat for us. She needs assistance (we saw her one-room house, small but clean, and this is where she studies), speaks almost fluent English, is an excellent student, and is polite and quite pleasant to talk to.

She's clear with her intent -- we said to her, "engineering jobs aren't that easy to get these days." She responded, "I know. But I want to try."

Sowmya's parents, Dilappa and Rathna
Who paid her fees last year? She said that her brother helped her, who is in the police force up north, but he had family issues this year so couldn't help out.

She showed us her grades from last year. She did quite well and certainly has the potential to excel. All of these factors told us that yes, this girl sure could use the help and would make excellent use of our support.

Dad got some great free treatment for his back from one of our directors in India, who is a doctor. And Sowmya's now in school and studying hard. She paid Rs. 4000 for her school fees and used Rs. 2800 for her textbooks. If you'd like to contribute to her education, she'll need to pay the balance of Rs. 3000 (US$60) in a few months.

We'll keep you posted on Sowmya's progress during the year!


AMDS said...

I would love to help her. I could help pay her outstanding bill of $60.

Operation Shanti Volunteers said...

You can definitely do so by making a donation through www.operation-shanti.org. Thank you!