Every Life has a story to tell. To listen, read below…
Duija, living right across the street from Katha Public School in Govindpuri, speaks of Katha with respect, of the vocational training skills women have gained, the raised income levels of families. She points to her daughter who she seeks to enroll at the Katha school. There is a gleam in her eyes, and a curious look in her daughter’s as Duija speaks. Duija is one of the many who don’t work at Katha, but attend the Maa Mandal meetings, treating the Katha school and its activities as a wind of change in the community.
Gayatri from Navjeevan Camp, Govindpuri completed her 10th from Katha School. A good foundation creates skyscrapers. Qualifying her IRS (Indian Revenue Services) in 2009, today she is a proud Asst. Commissioner (Dept. of Indian Commerce, Ministry of Finance).
Harun Ansari, a student at Katha till his mother died tragically a few years ago, runs his mother’s tailoring shop now and has made it the most successful tailoring shop in the neighbourhood. Remembering his student days at Katha, he says, “Katha’s role was that of parents.” It’s takes particular pride in the fact that his sisters are studying. One of them is in her final B.A. Political Science honours, dreaming of being an advocate. “Katha continues to be an important determinant for me in all my decisions,” says Harun.
M.K.Quadri completed his secondary and sr. secondary studies from Katha Public school in 2005. He won the Teen Summit award in Boston USA organized by Katha Public School & Intel in 2004. He went on to do Bachelors in Fine Arts in Painting from the reputed Jamia Millia Islamia bagging the merit scholarship every single year till his Masters. Also a Jamia Millia Islamia Gold Medalist for achieving the top rank in MFA in 2011, he has won several reputed awards and been a part of many prestigious group exhibitions. Today Muhammad keeps coming back to its Alma mater as a guest Art teacher.
Murshida Begum, the Pradhan of 200 homes in the Govindpuri slum, sits in her blue room, speaking warmly of Katha. Jars of pickles lining the shelves and wooden birds on the walls bespeak the efforts to keep her small room clean and beautiful, despite the despondence of living in a place that promises so little. She sends her children to Katha to acquire training in computers. Katha’s helping her daughter to become a doctor, she says proudly.
Phirdaus stands in front of Chandpati’s tea shop and looks up shyly saying, “I want to study, study and study and become a doctor.” She had dropped out of school. She wants to be in Katha, she says fiercely, a dream in her eyes. A dream her parents didn’t dare to dream. And that’s what she did … And now she is an adult, walking tall within the community! Showing others the way.
Rajkumar completed 10th from Katha School in 1997. Katha School of Entrepreneurship trained him in Bakery. He found employment in Hotel Taj as a Chef and later worked at Hotel Oberoi. He has tasted the sweet taste of success as he works as a Chef in Super Market, Barmuda, United State of America today.
Sonam belongs to a poor family comprising of herself, her parents and five siblings. Her father puts up swings at different places, her brother is a drum beater and her mother works as a maidservant. Her parents were reluctant to send her to Katha Community school initially but after regular interactions and counseling by Katha teachers, they got her enrolled in Kathawadi at Kaali Basti, Uttam Nagar. Katha’s method of teaching and learning through fun activities based on story pedagogy made studies interesting for Sonam. The friendly supportive teachers helped her adjust to the new school environment. Apart from regular teaching, she was also taught on issues like health and hygiene which led to positive changes in her life and habits. Sonam is a regular now. Neatly dressed, actively participating and cooperative, she also loves to read and write. Good with numbers and calculations, eight year old Sonam now maintains a daily record of expenditure for her family. Her proud parents and Sonam both aspire her becoming a teacher one day and wants to teach girls.
Subhadra Burman is the youngest in her family. Her elder siblings, three brothers and two sisters, studied in government schools but could not continue their studies beyond 5th class and had been married even before Subhadra joined Katha Lab School, Govindpuri in 1996. But encouraged by her mother and brother, she not only completed her 12th in Commerce stream in 2008 but is also currently working in the Accounts team at Katha head office and pursuing her B.Com through correspondence from Delhi University. Her brother earned 2000 rs p.m. in a printing shop on which the family survived. But today, Subhadra earns Rs 5000 p.m and with the savings she made over the past one and a half years, the family bought their own plot of land last month. They live in their own house now.
Vijay, is studying at Katha Khazana for the past 6 years. A keen learner, he’s juggling music, painting, athletics, and even dancing, along with school, and desires to be a Doctor one day. The fifteen year old Vijay shares a bond with this school which is friendly and different from others. “At Katha it’s not just about books and teachers. We’re taught contemporary issues and other themes that people talk of in public. I’d never heard of Global Warming before. But here, not only did we learn about it, we even made a short film on it.” The same film, featuring around 13 Katha kids, was screened at the Copenhagen Climate Change summit in 2009. So was that the happiest moment in his school life? “No,” he says, “It was winning the gold medal in badminton at Khel Khel Mein, a contest-tournament organised by Delhi University last year. He has also won 3rd prize in the poster-making contest, first prize in the singing contest and contributed some sketches and drawings to the Katha book Kisne Banaya.
Rinky joined Katha School in Tamashawadi in 2003. She was selected as a FINGA Scholar from the Fine Arts section of Kala Nivas in 2008. She was also a member of the School Council. She graduated from the school after completing her Class XII with more than 70% marks. After doing her Bachelors from DU she enrolled herself in MA Political Science through distance education prog/ univ. Currently working as an HR Executive with IBM in Gurgaon, she is also preparing for the Civil Services exam in May 2013.