Kindness doesn’t cost much; it only needs an open heart. Tanu, a grade 10 student of Pathshala project Bijwasan, exemplifies the qualities of being kind and open-hearted. She belongs to a family that includes her parents and three other siblings. Tanu’s family of 6 members survive on her father’s income. His work in a transport company provided them with a monthly income that helped their daily needs. However, due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, Tanu’s father lost his job, and along with it, the monthly income also stopped . He had to start working as a daily wage earner to make ends meet.
Tanu has always been a bright and intelligent girl. Once in between classes, she shared her family’s financial problems with the Literacy India teachers. Knowing Tanu’s brilliance and command over the basic skills, the teacher suggested that Tanu give tuitions to primary level children. The little money that she earns can go towards her brothers and sisters day-to-day academic requirements.
Tanu took the advice of her teachers and started teaching two children. She gradually increased to ten children that she taught in 2 batches. Suddenly, two children stopped attending the classes. It was found that their family couldn’t afford the tuition due to Covid setbacks.
Having personally experienced financial hardship, Tanu decided to continue teaching the children free of cost. She did not want their education to suffer. Tanu believes that we can only get by hard times when we help and support each other. Today, she can only offer support through free tuition classes, but tomorrow, she wishes to help her community rise when she is more capable .
Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, a small simple deed goes a long way and making a big difference. Our rural communities are full of examples where children have gone above and beyond to look after the needs of others. These acts of selflessness and kindness are the true testament to a child’s innocence and ability to love and care unconditionally. Saniya Kumari is only 11 years old, but she has immense responsibility and pride in her school and education .
She joined Literacy India in April 2016 and has worked hard to show her commitment to her studies over the years. As a result, she is a consistently good performer and enjoys any extra work given by the school. Her focus is not only on her personal studies, but Saniya is also a big advocate for education for all. She is known to help out other students whenever they need assistance in school.
During the Covid lockdown, many students had to migrate back to their hometowns/villages and could not attend online classes as per the schedule. Saniya individually took photos of the book’s pages and sent them to the children via WhatsApp to ensure they didn’t miss out on their studies. She did this out of the goodness of her own heart, without anyone asking her to do so. Saniya’s small act of kindness impacted so many children at home without access to books.
Not Giving Back BUT Paying Forward