Meet Pratiksha, currently studying for M. Comm while working as a part-time teacher in our Kalam Balbhavan. Here she shares her story.
I am Pratiksha from Barskar Colony, Laltaki, Ahmednagar. When I was young, I remember that there were many small children in the Balbhavan. when I was three years olW, my mother, Babita Tai, started working as a Peer at Snehalaya's Utkarsh Balbhavan, taking me along with her.
When I started at Sitaram Sarada School, my mother and Rubina mam also enrolled my name with the Balbhavan. Not only did they admit me to the Balbhavan and school, the Balbhavan staff constantly monitored my attendance in school and the Balbhavan.
My father worked as a laborer, and with my mother's income there was enough money to cover our daily expenses, but still not enough for school expenses. Therefore the Balbhavan financially supported my education right through to completing my degree in commerce.
My father was very ill with COVID in the first wave of the virus and my whole family was affected in the second wave. Thankfully our Balbhavan family stood behind us during this difficult time. In 11th std I had difficulty getting text books until long-time Snehalaya supporter Dr Anshu Mule helped out by buying my books.
My mother is still working as a Peer and as a result my sisters and I have a real appetite for education. One of my sisters has completed her MSW and is now working in a good place in Pune and I have completed my B.Com, Tally and MSCIT qualifications, all with the support of the Balbhavan team.
In the future, I want to work in the banking sector. I am working hard for it. I am who I am today only because of Balbhavan which helped me understand the importance of education and showed me the outside world through many different extracurricular activities. I am proud to be giving back and inspiring other young people to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the balbhavan by teaching part-time while I complete my masters.
Through balbhavan, I have learned sociability, intelligence, practical knowledge, creativity, and many other things. It was only through Balbhavan that it was possible for me to learn how to live and how to overcome the crisis that comes with life growing up in a slum. I salute all the Balbhavan workers and their hard-working attitude!