She’s got a winsome smile and her neat little pigtails outline her face where the eyes take in everything about you. That’s Prema for you, an exuberant and bright fifth standard kid that Gubbachi has taken under their fold.
Every little child here at Gubbachi has an incredible story waiting to be told.
Orphaned at a very young age, the youngest of four siblings, Prema lived with her maternal grandmother at Yadgiri, one of the most backward districts of Karnataka, till six months ago. When her grandmother passed away, homeless and hungry her elder brother decided to move to Bengaluru with her elder sister hoping to find a job as a construction laborer in the ever-booming construction city. One of the sisters remained at Yadgiri working as a flower girl and fending for herself.
“I used to go to a government school in Yadgiri; but I had to stop when my brother couldn’t afford to even buy my books or uniform. We had a small shop at Yadgiri where we sold biscuits, chocolates and such stuff. When my schooling stopped I used to keep practicing my reading by reading the wrappers of biscuits and chocolates. However, we had to shut shop as it was not sustainable and moved to Bengaluru”.
Prema joined Gubbachi six months ago and has been bridged into the adjoining government school successfully. Her fears remain that one day when the construction site is completed she will be moved again. Her elder sister works with the maintenance team of a completed building and she even gets to stay in a shed close to the school.
At the moment, the security of a roof above her head, however temporary it may be, a school to come to where the world is a journey in discovery for her; friends she plays with forgetting all her insecurities; and the Gubbachi team who encourage and instill confidence in her, allows her to dream big. “I want to be able to study forever, go to college and then someday become a doctor” says she.
The incredible thirst for knowledge and the understanding that education is a game changer, has perhaps allowed children like Prema to nurse dreams.