My name is Kumari. I am 12 years old. My father works as a housekeeper in one of the corporate guest houses. My mother works as a cook cum maid in a house. My father earns Rs.4000 a month and my mother brings home Rs.2700. We are three sisters and I am the eldest of all.
As an older child, I am laden with the responsibility of looking after my younger sisters, shanti (9) and anitha (7), when my parents are away at work. Being girl children, my parents worry themselves about bringing us up and I overhear this concern at least once almost everyday. They have planned to stop my studies in another 2 years as they feel that they cannot afford my education in higher classes.
I study well and always dream of dressing up well and going to an office speaking English like the children at the Bungalow where my mother works. As a child of only 12, I am helpless to abide by my parents’ decision. If they choose to send me also to work like my mother, it will supplement the family income but my dreams will be shattered. I have not given up my dreams though. I continue to study well and hope and pray desperately that there will be a ‘Fairy Godmother’ who will hold me by the hand and make my dream come true. Once I step out of this poverty, I will be able to look after my parents and my 2 sisters who also study well.
(The text after the story)
The Fairy Godmother is on her journey to find more Kumaris whose parents may have a job to call, but the family income may not suffice to break free from their present lot. Educating girl children like Kumari will help groom literate mothers who could support the family income substantially while also help creating a healthy, literate society. The FGMCT has started its efforts towards this objective since 2007-08 and plans to take the initiatives far and wide.
Integrated Child Development services (ICDS) shared, "We have had a great collaboration with FairyGodMother. We have jointly done anthropometry of 3500 children and community campaigns.
- by Aravind