E IMG 2922Once one says ‘yes’ to positivity, the affirmation turns contagious. And 9-year old Divya Kumari is a living testimony of the dictum.

Since the three years she came to Dharuhera from her native Uttarakhand, the 9-year-old has experienced a sea change in her overall personality. From a diffident girl who would go to school only when her mother coaxed her to, Divya today attends classes regularly and is one of the toppers in her class at Government Primary School, HUDA, Sector-6, Dharuhera.

“Initially, I was a bit apprehensive of the new environment and of my classmates. It’s not that I was not interested in studies. Just that I had little trouble with the language and I found the school environment very uninspiring,” she says.

For Divya and many of her classmates, the launch of Hero MotoCorp-sponsored Samarth Girls Programme at a Centre close to their homes was an immense blessing. The programme, implemented by Humana People to People India, helps rekindle interest in studies amongst school-going girls who are at the risk of dropping out of school due to various reasons.

“She is one of the brightest students in her class. Academically, she had always been a good performer, but after joining the Centre her confidence level has improved significantly, along with further improvement in her grades,” says Manisha, HPPI instructor at the Centre.

“She actively participates in all the programmes at the Centre, and her presentation and public speaking skills have improved notably over the months she’s been here.”

Divya’s mother is a housewife while her father works as a tailor. In the initial days of starting at the Centre, the fourth grader was not very keen on attending another set of classes after finishing school and had to be forced by her mother to attend the same.

“At our school, games and activities occur very rarely; mostly on days when the number of students in the class is low,” says Divya.

“Since the classes were being conducted without any charge at the Centre, my mother would repeatedly persuade me to go there. But after coming for the first few classes, I started finding the studying environment there more enjoyable than at the school, and even at home,” she recalls.

“Even though we spend more time at the school than at the Centre, the quality of teaching is much better at the Centre and we learn things more efficiently there. Studies at the Centre are conducted through games and activities. Also, every Saturday we have special activities there, such as dance programme, drawing, painting and excursions.”

And today, Divya’s enthusiasm to attend the Centre after school percolated to her classmates who could perceive the dramatic change in her grades and presentation skills at the school.

“She was the one who motivated me to attend the Centre. Once I was there, I could see why she found it so interesting. The way madam and sir conduct the class and the general environment at the Centre is very fascinating, and all of us find it very interesting,” says Poonam Bari, Divya’s classmate.

Today, seven of her classmates – potentially on the cusp of dropping out of school due to various reasons – attend Samarth Girls Centre. Divya, owing to her inherent abilities, and guided by the Centre, has been an exponent of nurturing foundational academic aspirations. And the Samarth Girls Programme aims to continue to walk all such aspirants, all the way home.

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About HPPI

Humana People to People India is a development organization registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 as of 21st May 1998. It is a non-political, non-religious organization. Its mission is to unite with people in India in order to create development in the broadest sense through the implementation of the projects that aim at transferring knowledge, skills and capacity to individuals and communities who need assistance to come out of poverty and other dehumanizing conditions.

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