Life gave Saloni a rough start. Her father walked away when she was still in her mother’s womb. A few months after she was born, her mother took her own life, leaving Saloni and her brothers orphaned.
She and her brothers are now under the care of her Uncle, Ninnva, who does all he can to provide for the children. Ninnva works as a security guard in a shoe factory near his house.
Despite all his efforts, Ninnva could not afford to provide for the education of all four children because of which two of Saloni’s elder brothers dropped out of a government school in the 8th grade.
But 6-year-old Saloni is a fighter. Studying has not only been her aspiration, it has been her favourite hobby. She was 5 years old when she voluntarily went to the education centre and learnt the English alphabets, numbers, a few stories and poems.
“Despite being underage, she came to the Remedial Education Centre in the community every week consistently and learnt what children aged 6 and above were being taught,” says Poonam, a World Vision India volunteer.
Saloni’s dream, wish and desire came true through an intervention by World Vision India’s Citizen Voice and Action* (CVA) group working in this community.
Jeetendra, a World Vision India volunteer figured that 25% seats are reserved for poor children in private schools under the (Right to Education) RTE Act 2009. Jeetendra tirelessly followed up with an education centre to help Saloni enroll in school and live her dreams. She didn’t even have a birth certificate but Jeetendra took it on himself to apply and obtain all necessary documents for Saloni.
And after months of waiting, Saloni’s name finally appeared in the list of children enrolled in private schools. Saloni now studies in an English medium private school in Agra. “My desire is that she studies as much as possible and achieves great heights,” says Ninnva.
It is certainly a dream come true for six-year-old Saloni who wants to become a police officer. “I watched a video about a police officer in the education centre and ever since I want to become one”, she says.
A Citizen Voice and Action (CVA) group is formed in each community to empower and enable community members to access their rights and provisions availed by the government for their sustainable development.