“Against All Odds: The Inspiring Journey of Lata Gahir towards Education and Empowerment”
Lata Gahir is an 8-year-old girl who lives in Pdampur village in Golamunda Block of Kalahandi. Being daily wage labourers, her parents frequently migrated to cities like Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh in search of employment opportunities. Having little to no faith in the state’s education system, her parents took Lata with them to lend an extra hand in their work. As a consequence, Lata was forced to leave her village and discontinue her education at an early age. She worked as a child labour and lived in the overcrowded and difficult conditions of slums with her parents.
But, luck finally seemed to be on Lata’s side when she heard about the BRIDGE school initiative being undertaken by AJSA in her village. Although her parents had little faith in the education system, they were willing to give Lata a chance to pursue her dreams and sent her back to live with her grandmother.
With a renewed sense of hope, Lata dove headfirst into her studies and in just four months, learned to read and write in Odiya and English, memorized tables, and was on her way to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher.
Lata also added that her elder sister (10- years-old) lives in Chandigarh with her parents and helps them to take care of her younger siblings. She wishes that her sister and siblings come back to the village and continue their education by joining this initiative.
“I have learnt reading and writing Odiya and English alphabets and memorized tables as well in the last four months. I dream to be a teacher in the future so that I can help children like me.”Lata Gahir
Lata’s story is a testament to the fact that education can provide hope and a pathway out of poverty, no matter how dire the circumstances may seem. Her unwavering determination and passion for learning have inspired many in her community to pursue their dreams and break free from the cycle of poverty.