March 2, 2013

A Tragic Story--and a New Tution Centre

Today we learned the tragic news that an 11 year old girl in a nearby village commit suicide.  Her teacher had scolded her for not doing her homework and for not having a notebook.  So she went home and killed herself. 11 years old. So many thoughts have passed through our minds--if only her teacher had corrected her more carefully, if only her parents had bought her a notebook, if only she had asked us for a notebook..... The villagers came to our staff today and begged us to open a tuition/evening study centre in their village. We are making it top priority but alas, too late for one little girl.

We are determined to try to  make a difference through our programmes--to teach our staff, and tuition teachers to talk to children with respect and kindness; if they have to correct them, to balance it with encouragement and not to assault their dignity. Corporal punishment is forbidden in our centres. No using sticks to keep the children quiet, as we have seen in some anganwadis. And through our activities and youth club,  we shall endeavour to teach children to treat each other with respect and courtesy also, no matter their caste or community.

Can you sponsor a tuition centre? Rs.1000 a month pays the salary for a teacher for 2-3 hours an evening so the children can complete their homework and get needed assistance.  (About $20, £12 or €14)

According to a recent Lancet report, suicide death rates in India are among the highest in the world. A large proportion of adult suicide deaths occur between the ages of 15 years and 29 years, especially in women.