Gurgaon teen’s crusade to change lives brings hope to slum kids
A 17-year-old girl is on a mission to change the lives of underprivileged children around her and empower them by teaching them important entrepreneurial skills.
Seher Bajwa, a student of Sri Ram School, Moulsari, has started an after-school initiative, ‘Anmol Shiksha’ to teach students between 4 to 17 years of age. The initiative took shape when Bajwa, an International Baccalaureate Diploma class 12 student, was writing a research paper on school drop-outs in Punjab in the year 2015. While writing the paper, Bajwa realised that it was important to teach the unemployed youths, essential skill sets and empower them to become not just job seekers, but also job givers.
“According to the 2011 census, as many as 8.4 crore students are not going to school. I want to equip these children with basic skill sets, which will assist them in getting employed or become successful entrepreneurs tomorrow,” said Seher Bajwa, a resident of DLF Phase 4.
Under her pilot project, Bajwa has developed a curriculum and is also teaching students at a small centre at Bahadurgarh village on the outskirts of the city. Bajwa, along with two teachers, has been taking classes for around 62 students, some of whom have been travel ling several kilometres on foot to attend her lessons, for the last one year. She said that the number of children attending her classes has been growing steadily every month. “We started the class a year ago, with about 20 students.
“Today that number has increased to 62. I have a boy who used to travel on foot, carrying his younger sister, all the way from a neighbourhood village, to attend classes. We arranged for his transportation, but it was good to see students coming forward,” she noted.
Bajwa said the syllabus has been developed on four main pillars: Moral Values, Leadership, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Entrepreneurship. “My mission is not just teaching a bunch of students I can reach out to. We have made the curriculum available for all the NGOs and social activist undertaking a similar cause.
“It is based on interactive learning that teaches children to collaborate and learn while enjoying,” she said.