Village girls turn madrasa into English school | india | Hindustan Times
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Village girls turn madrasa into English school

In an Uttar Pradesh village, 15 km from Varanasi city, inhabited primarily by a community of sari weavers, three teenage girls are weaving a mantra of change. Gaurav Saigal reports.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2011 23:57 IST
Gaurav Saigal

In an Uttar Pradesh village, 15 km from Varanasi city, inhabited primarily by a community of sari weavers, three teenage girls are weaving a mantra of change.

Tabassum Bano, 19, Tarannum Bano, 18, and Rubina Bano, 18, of Sujoi Benipur are giving lessons in English, Hindi and mathematics at the local madrasa. A madrasa is a Muslim religious school where lessons are given by maulanas, or clerics.

“After completing intermediate in 2009, I realised the importance of education,” Tarannum said. “All three of us thought alike, so we decided to share our knowledge with the children in our village.”

The three girls reopened the madrasa that was closed for a decade last year.

Around 250 children aged between 7 and 12 from Sujoi Benipur and neighbouring villages have been attending these classes.

“To teach them the correct English pronunciation we are falling back on the radio programme, Interactive Radio Instruction, broadcast every morning at 8 o’clock,” said Tabassum.

Rajnikant, founder of Human Welfare Association, a non-governmental organisation, who trained the three young teachers said: “When the girls decided to open the madrasa gates, there was some resistance from the villagers. But gradually, they themselves arranged for electricity to run fans and lights.”

“Children who come to us for about a year become capable of attending modern school,” said Tarannum. “Some of them who had come to us last year are now attending proper schools.”

The three girls quit their education two years ago, when they embarked on this mission, but now want to continue their studies. “We have decided to complete our graduation,” said Rubina.