PUNE: For these underprivileged students, education is the only key to success. Their SSC results validated their efforts. Behind their success is also the hard work of their parents, who realised the importance of education.
It was an ecstatic moment for Asha Phulawale, a waste picker, when she learned that her youngest daughter Gauri Phulawale scored 71.2 per cent in the SSC examination. To celebrate her daughter’s success, she bought chocolates, wafers and pastries. Phulawale said, “I am celebrating her achievement to encourage her to keep doing the good work. I could study only till Std VIII. But I want my three daughters to become officers so they can sit on a chair and work in four walls. It has been 9 years that am working as a waste picker and due to lifting garbage, I have developed spondylosis and get chest pain. I don’t want my children to suffer.”
To realise her dreams, Asha works as a housemaid too. Her husband works as a gardener. Gauri, who studies in Gyanba Moze School, Yerawada, said, “My parents never made us realise the financial crisis at home. I did not face any hurdles in education. My sisters and cousins have pursued Commerce. I will be taking up Science and seek admission in Pharmacy.”
For Dilip Parmar, to convince his father to allow him to pursue his education, was a big battle before his board examination. Parmar got 89.60 per cent and topped in Lady Zubeida Qureshi English Medium School. “My father was not very keen in my education. I had to convince him a lot as I don’t want to make a career at his shop. I want to become a software engineer and have no interest in business,” said Parmar.
He said he did not have any interest in playing or hobbies as he got very few hours which went for study. Parmar would study in his shop in the afternoon. “After school, I had to take care of the shop. But during afternoons, very few customers would visit the shop, therefore, I would utilise that time for studying and then the rest I would complete at night. Any mismatch in my schedule would disturb my study hours. Then it would be a little difficult to cover up my lessons,” said Parmar.
Swanand Joshi from Poona Night School scored 75 per cent in SSC. He came to Pune in 2013 from Konkan to live with his uncle who pursues ‘Pourohitya’ (Brahmin priest).
He joined a day school but two years ago he shifted to Poona Night School. “I wanted to complete my learning in Vedanta, so I decided to take admission in a night school so I could learn Vedanta in the morning. I go with my uncle when he practices his profession. My family has been pursuing ‘Pourohitya’ for ages, my father is also one. I want to continue my family tradition. However, I also want to make my career in commerce field. I would like to take up a job and simultaneously keep up the family tradition,” said Joshi.
He would study in morning hours, during the day he accompanied his uncle and then attended the night school.