Kanyashree club successful in bringing back a school dropout in Purulia
Whenever we hear about a government scheme, the first thing on our mind is that the success spoken about is only on paper. Courtesy Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Kanyashree Prakalpa, which has set an example of its own, the very ground reality tells us how deserving the United Nations' award was.
Real success stories are rare when it comes to government schemes but here is one among many others of a Kanyashree club that was able to bring back a girl child to school at a time when she had almost lost hope.
"We heard that her parents were about to marry her off. We had to do something for her. Initially, we approached her parents and tried to convince them to send her to the school again but we had to face a lot of resistance," said Shreya Banerjee, president Uran Kanyashree Club of Jhalda Girls' High School in Purulia.
In the villages, people often feel that educating a girl child would make it difficult to get a groom for her. "We were told to stay away from their family matters. She is our daughter, they said, and only they would decide what was to be done," Sreya added saying that it is at times very painful to hear derogatory things from parents of children whom they approach.
Despite obstacles, following a firm belief, the students of the club kept persuading her parents.
"We spoke about the benefits of the scheme. Her parents told us that they are unable to bear the cost of books and clothes. We told them that the government provides books and she can use our clothes. We had to coax them a lot," said Maya Mukherjee, a member of the club.
The parents of this girl were to marry her off and in order to arrange for the money that they had to give as dowry, the child used to be sent to work.
Thus, it was not only a case of early marriage; it was also one of child labour which the girls of Uran Kanyashree Club fought against and was finally successful in bringing back the student to school.
"The day she walked into the school again, uniform clad, I skipped a heartbeat and our eyes were moist. All we could do is smile and thank the Chief Minister for her support. However, it is also equally important to mention the help rendered by UNICEF. Our endeavour would not have been successful had these people not been behind us," maintained Sweta Singh, a student of Class XII and a member of the club.