*Names have been changed to protect identities

Gauri

I want to study so that I can get my family out of here.

Age: 11 yrs
Location: Kolkata
Year: 2019

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Meet Gauri from Kolkata, the epitome of motivation. At a young age of 11, she displays wisdom and maturity well beyond her years. The combined income from her mother’s slipper cutting work and her father’s work as a ragpicker is barely enough to keep the family afloat. Gauri dreams of getting her family out of their current situation. “There is nothing nice about living here,” she mentions unabashedly, complaining about the filthy smell arising from the canal atop which their house stands, owing to open defecation. “They abuse, do drugs, and all sorts of illegal things,” continues Gauri, referring to those residing nearby, worried for her safety, and that of her family.

Gauri already knows that good education is the only gateway to a better life. “I have an Aadhaar card that I got made sometime back during a camp held in my locality. It has helped me get enrolled in a good school,” declares Gauri with delight.

In an interview with Save the Children, Gauri confidently talks about how she looks forward to attending school everyday. “My grandparents’ house in the village is very nice, but the school there is not good.”

“She is the smartest in our family,” Gauri’s mother proudly chimes in. “I hope she gets a well-paying job when she finishes school and then college.”

Zealously, Gauri describes her dreams for her future, “I want to go to an English medium school, where I can learn to speak English properly. This will allow me to get a better job when I graduate. As a family, we need to move out of here, but we can only do that if we have more money. I want to live with my parents— they love and support me— but I do want to live in a better house,” explains Gauri. “I will make that happen when I grow up,” she adds with confidence, unmistakably determined and indisputably passionate.

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