WORLD VISION: From Street Vendor to School Girl
Once confined to a life of selling lentil pakodas at a railway station, Global Impact charity partner World Vision convinced Kushboo of the importance of education and going to school. Now, she’s busy with her studies and wants to become a teacher.
After Kushboo’s father abandoned her family, her mother could not afford to send Kushboo to school. With a monthly income of just US$25, Kushboo had to contribute to keep the family afloat. “I had to give up my dreams of studying,” says Kushboo. “If I had my father also working, then I could have studied.”
Kushboo went to work selling lentil pakodas at the railway station after spending her mornings helping her grandmother prepare them. This continued for years, until volunteers with World Vision’s Patna Child Restoration Project identified her as a high-risk child and approached her at her snack station when she was 13.
At first she and her family reacted with suspicion. But after many visits, counseling and teaching them about why Kushboo needed an education, the family began to trust the World Vision volunteers. Kushboo’s grandmother finally pronounced her blessing.
“I am not educated, my daughter is not educated, which is why we are in poverty. All I want is a good life for my granddaughter — a life better than what we have,” says Kushboo’s grandmother.
Finally, trading the frying wok for a pencil, Kushboo began her educational journey. With no basic foundations, the transition wasn’t smooth.
“We coached her for one whole year. She didn’t know anything. After a year, we mainstreamed her into government school. Now, after two years of coaching at our center, there is a lot of difference. She is very strong in math,” says Sanjeev, a World Vision staff member.
Not only did Kushboo turn a new leaf in the world of education, her personality blossomed, too.
“She smiles now, she laughs. There is a great difference in Kushboo’s personality and mannerisms,” says Seema, World Vision staff member.
Kushboo no longer views her living condition as a deterrent to fulfill her dreams. She has become the first person in her family to go to school.
“I want to be a teacher just like Sanjeev and teach children like me,” Kushboo says.
“My study life started in the center. I feel safe and secure here rather than on the streets. If World Vision was not here, this chance to study would be impossible. It has changed my behavior, my way of thinking; I can do anything if I am provided with an opportunity.”