Nurturing Hearts, Empowering Minds: The Maternal Care of Our Educators

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April 14, 2024

Nurturing Hearts, Empowering Minds: The Maternal Care of Our Educators

Amidst the vibrant walls of Literacy India’s centers, a tapestry of resilient women and mothers weave together stories of hope and determination. These are the tales of teachers who have found a home within Literacy India, supported by a community that champions their dreams and aspirations. Many of our educators have not only imparted invaluable knowledge to our students but have also showered them with the kind of motherly affection that can transform lives, shepherding them through life’s trials with a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold. Through the initiatives of Literacy India, these women and mothers fulfilled not only their own aspirations, which were fueled by maternal responsibilities, but also supported the ambitions and endeavors of their children and many other budding minds.

The Compassionate Mentorship of Nisha Dharoo

Mrs. Nisha Dharoo is a cherished educator whose journey with us began in 2002. Over two decades, she has not only taught children but embraced them as her own, fulfilling the roles of caretaker and guardian with unwavering love and warmth.

In those early days, Literacy India was a smaller organization, yet the needs of the children were immense. Many of them, burdened by economic hardships, required more than just an educator; they needed a maternal figure to lean on. Mrs. Nisha willingly assumed this role, providing not only academic guidance but also attending to their basic needs with utmost care, from meticulously cleaning uniforms to ensuring their overall grooming.

Most of these students came from families that lacked the resources to provide basic amenities. These children would walk to our center barefooted. Without slippers and covered in dust, they required the nurturing care and affection of a parent. Mrs. Nisha would make sure the children cleaned themselves at the school washroom facility, providing them with toiletries and clean uniforms. When their uniforms got soiled, she would get them laundered herself.

Many of Mrs. Nisha’s students came from backgrounds where education, especially for girls, was not prioritized. Undeterred, she went above and beyond, visiting their homes, talking to their parents at length and advocating for their education and right to learn. She emphasizes the importance of watching over her students, understanding their emotions, and offering counsel and motivation.

The impact of her compassionate mentorship reverberates in the success stories of her former students. Rahul and Sanjay, once under her guidance, have blossomed into accomplished engineers, carrying forward the values she imparted with pride and gratitude.

“In the heart of education lies the holistic development of a child and encompasses not only a child’s academic success but also emotional and physical well-being, ” shares Mrs. Nisha Dharoo, reflecting on her tenure since joining Literacy India.

As she prepares a new generation for the challenges ahead, Mrs. Nisha’s nurturing spirit shines brighter than ever. Two girls, mentored by her compassionate guidance, have achieved outstanding success scoring 98% in Mathematics in their board examinations, illuminating her tireless efforts and unwavering belief in their potential.

“Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about shaping individuals into compassionate and well-rounded human beings,” Mrs. Nisha affirms, epitomizing the true essence of motherhood in education.

A Mother, Teacher & Friend: Sarita Wali’s Different Roles as an Educator

Mrs. Sarita Wali embarked on a journey with Literacy India in 2001 as an educator at our inaugural center in village Chauma. The children belonged to migrant communities and most of them had taken up part-time work to support their families. Mrs. Sarita saw beyond the textbooks; she saw children in need of a mother’s care.

Beyond academic instruction, Mrs. Sarita became the nurturing presence these children lacked. She tended to their personal hygiene, ensuring they bathed using the school’s facilities and providing clean clothes and warm sweaters. Her motherly instincts extended to collecting and dry-cleaning their sweaters when needed, going above and beyond her role as a teacher.

But her influence didn’t stop there. Mrs. Sarita offered emotional support, counseling students like Sujata, who faced the burdens of domestic work at a tender age. Through her tireless efforts and heartfelt persuasion, Sujata’s parents relented, allowing her to pursue an education. Today, Sujata is a 21-year-old Paramedic at Park Hospital. Similarly, Manjulata, once unable to read or write, now stands as a teacher herself, thanks to Mrs. Sarita’s nurturing guidance. 

As Mrs. Sarita prepares her fifth batch of students for the NIOS board, she reflects on her 22-year journey with Literacy India with a profound sense of contentment. “Taking care of these students, who lack privileges and need a helping hand, brings me immense fulfillment,” she expresses. 

I had to be their mother, teacher, and friend. My concern for their well-being surpasses even that of my own daughter’s,” Mrs. Sarita shared, encapsulating her commitment to her students’ holistic development and overall well-being.


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