For 24-year-old S Vanaja, education had to take a beating after her father passed away right after she finished her Intermediate studies and she and her mother had to take over their local shop to fend for themselves. But Vanaja, a resident of Hanamkonda in Telangana is trying to give back to some of the less fortunate. The young woman teaches a small group of 20 children near the Asian Mall in Hanamkonda beside an open nala daily mornings and evenings, a New Indian Express report said.
The children whom Vanaja teaches are all from classes Lower KG to Class 3 and none of them can afford the online classes that have been started by most schools due to the lack of a smartphone. All of these children hail from migrant settlements in the area and their families are mostly from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, and education for them has been a struggle since forever because of their weaker socio-economic backgrounds at first and now with the pandemic, the situation has turned even more dire. Vanaja teaches these kids for free.
The families of these children have been living in huts in a slum area built on government land for the past 2 decades. Vanaja, who originally hails from the Bhongir district in Telangana, is a resident of the same slum.
“My father died when I was a child, and my mother was the sole breadwinner. I had to help her run the shop. So I could not continue my education,” she told TNIE.
Like all, the education sector has also been transformed due to the pandemic and with schools and colleges moving the entire scenario online, these children have been suffering the most due to lack of basic facilities and many of them drop out of schools. For them, Vanaja is a godsend.
Vanaja understand these children’s plight and their struggles and thus helps them get the basic education they definitely need. A lot many of these children also do not get proper meals and with schools shut, mid-day meals have also stopped.
“I believe that it is my responsibility to impart education to these children, even though I have no classrooms to offer,” she says.