Starting at Poongavanam Residential School and completing my education to join the IT team of Hand in Hand India has been a wonderful journey. Hand in Hand India has transformed my life!"
Meet Suguna. She is 22, employee at Hand in Hand India, holder of a Master’s degree and has been freed from child labour. Her story is a testament of our work and our success as it begins and continues with Hand in Hand India. Suguna belongs to the first batch of students to study from Poongavanam residential special training centre. She currently works for Hand in Hand India’s IT team. Click here to read more about her inspirational story!
Whilst in the midst of working in a weaving loom, at a tender age of 10 with nimble fingers, Suguna and her sister were approached by Hand in Hand India mobilizers. Even then, as a child labourer, she used to take time to go to night school and try to keep up with education.
Her life was transformed overnight when Hand in Hand India volunteers approached her to join Poongavanam Residential Special Training Centre. At the school, she regained her lost childhood. She mingled with children her age, played and made friends. She was also a mentor for the younger children – teaching them lessons, braiding their hair and dressing them up every day – something she enjoyed!
After a year at Poongavanam, her intelligence shined brighter than the sun and she was double promoted and mainstreamed to the 6th grade at a Government school! At school, despite her young age, she topped the class with the first rank! She passed all her subsequent school exams meritoriously.
Hand in Hand India staff approached her again at this stage and facilitated her undergraduate studies in Bachelors of Computer Applications and later her Masters in Computer Applications (MCA). Her thirst to gain knowledge and be independent was apparent at this time when she supplemented her studies with a part time job as a data entry specialist. With this additional income she bought stationery and books for the young children in her neighborhood.
Suguna tasted the sweet fruits of her relentless effort and hardwork when she was approached by the Hand in Hand India staff just before she completed her MCA. They recruited her as a trainee as part of the IT team.
Suguna has now relocated to Chennai and works full time in her alma mater. She has accustomed herself to living in a city and she continues to work hard every day. Her only condition while joining the organization was that she would financially support the children at the RSTCs that Hand in Hand India runs. She hopes to achieve this dream soon. While talking to Suguna, words thanking the Hand in Hand India staff come out incessantly– the staff have been life changing, in every step of her life.
As staff of Hand in Hand India, it definitely is a matter of pride for us to feature Suguna. She is definitely here as a role model who has brought about a change in the society.