The Transit School changed my life! “I will remain eternally grateful to India and my teacher, Ms. Surya who helped me move ahead in life."
Making dreams a reality
Sitting in her modest thatched dwelling in Vandavasi, Keerthana’s eyes light up as soon as she opens up to speak. Her smile reveals the struggles that she has overcome with grace and poise. She begins to talk about her family – faint and painful memories of her dad, an alcoholic, who deserted the family when she was young. The onus of raising Keerthana and her sister fell on Sarasu, the mother, who had to fend for her family by doing odd jobs. Sarasu is a woman of indomitable spirit.
Sarasu’s life took a turn when she approached the SHG and regularly availed loans from the group to run her small wet-dough making household enterprise that supported her family. Soon enough, she was instrumental in forming three SHG’s in her locality.
Keerthana’s fight began when she was in Grade 10 and struggled to pass her English and Tamil exams. Her mother sensed the need for extra coaching and sent her to a private coaching centre spending INR 7,000 but sadly these centres did not serve the purpose. In early 2012, Sarasu came to know of the Transit School run by Hand in Hand India at Vandavasi which helped in coaching children to clear their Grade 10 exams and enrolled her daughter in the Transit school.
Keerthana worked hard under the guidance of Ms. Surya, the Transit School teacher who was more of a friend. She mentored and cared for Keerthana. She took on the challenge and successfully passed her Tamil exam first and later on the English exam in the second attempt. Two years after her high school, Keerthana enrolled for a Diploma in Lab Technology at the Asian Institute of Medical Academy – after her mother took an educational loan of INR 24,000 for the course. Now, Keerthana is in her final year of the course and also earns INR 2,000 every month by supporting a local Medical Practitioner in the distribution of medicines.
Keethana exclaims, “The Transit School changed my life! “I will remain eternally grateful to India and my teacher, Ms. Surya who helped me move ahead in life,” says Keerthana. It is Keerthana’s ambition to set up a bio-medical laboratory in Vandavasi after she finishes her Diploma. She also dreams of building a house for her mother. And she knows that the day is not far when her dream will come true.