Pehchaan The Street School has been striving towards excellence since 2015. It has been working tirelessly to educate underprivileged children and provide them with better opportunities. To put it metaphorically, we are the pen through which they write their futures.
Throughout humankind’s history, identity crisis -questioning your sense of self or identity- has been a lingering problem. These children who are boycotted by our so-called society for no apparent reason have been going through this problem more than anyone.
The NGO is an initiative to help such children so that they can find their identities and learn the fact that they are not doomed to spend their lives in such poverty.
The most important barrier that I have seen in educating underprivileged children is that some families deny sending their girl-child for education but are more than happy to send their sons. As a literature student, I was deeply disturbed to see such a pattern of history being repeated.
Patriarchy, as we all know, has been eating our society from the bottom for centuries. Women were not allowed to read books, not taught how to write, were not given equal opportunities and were believed to have taken birth for household chores. They were denied education from the moment they took birth and were married before they had hit fifteen. There were even times when human society was divided into two classes, out of which the bourgeoisie class (middle class), including millions of families, men, women, children, were not allowed to read or speak the language spoken by the upper classes.
That era, thankfully, has ended, but patriarchy still blooms in our society. Even though theories like feminism have helped women in raising their voices and learn about women empowerment, most of the poverty-ridden families know nothing about such development. It was necessary to teach them about the world which exists around them. We have hit the problem of denying the opportunity of education to a girl child at its pivotal point. We have designed an outreach program that targets girls at their age of adolescence, i.e., girls between the age group of ten to nineteen and sets them on an academic track towards excellence.
Underprivileged families have been treated like they are not humans. Every human has a right to education, and keeping in mind all these problems, Pehchaan provides every underprivileged child with free education. Not just this, Pehchaan has been providing free healthcare check-ups, has been going on blanket drives so that they can keep warm in the cold and have been providing education sponsorships so that they can bring their families above the poverty line.
It has been six years since we have embarked upon this journey of educating every child residing in the slum areas, and we are proud to say that we have reached over a thousand children in our NGO and have more than seven centres in the Delhi NCR. Being a volunteer has been one beautiful journey, and the happiness it has given me to share my knowledge with these children is priceless.