Shaping their future

''After my father passed away, when I just in the 4th standard, my mother alone brought me up. She carried a lot of burden to raise my siblings and me, but she never let that feeling get to us. Throughout my childhood, I was happy, studying and playing with the cousins we lived with. But I was married off early, to a gentleman. He had a transferable job, so we regularly kept moving cities and towns. I couldn't figure out anything to keep myself occupied. So I started to teach the kids in my neighbourhood. It began with regular tuitions, but I saw that a lot of kids, who couldn't afford to pay fees, were being left out. That's when I decided to teach underprivileged children. It wasn't a big project, just the children of my house help and her neighbours. But it was a start! Initially, they weren't too interested. They didn't understand a lot of things about discipline or how to carry themselves. Those were my first lessons - I taught them to comb their hair neatly, always have a smile on their faces and greet people. It's been seven years since then and I feel proud to say that I helped so many kids understand the importance of education and also taught them other things that schools often miss - good touch - bad touch, menstruation and others. Every time they score good marks or say they want to become successful in their chosen field of interest, it makes me extremely happy. It's like I'm living my dream through them. If they don't turn up even for one day, I feel very bored and restless. I enjoy teaching them as much as they enjoy learning from me. There's never a feeling of class or caste - they're kids and given the right education, they will grow up to be just as successful as anybody else!''

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