Positive Chronicles - Prerana : Inspiring hope in the children of prostituted women
The co-founder of Prerana "How come no one has still become a doctor or an engineer?" asked the police officer to the people from Prerana, who had been to the police station in Kamathipura to lodge a complaint against a pimp who had brutally beaten up a three year old child and his mother.
When I heard this, I wondered how one can quantify the value of education.
By the pay scales one gets in the job market? By the stamp of respectability? Or, by the freedom to do what one wishes to?
Today, it is often the first question that is the prime purpose of education for most people, with most parents concerned with “How much salary can my son/ daughter get if he completes this course?” Another important factor is the stamp of being a doctor or engineer, not for saving lives or building bridges but for a mark of respectability in social circles.
The freedom to do what one wishes to; in other words, empowering individuals to make their choices, is, very often not even considered a goal of education.
Paradoxically, while the children from a privileged background grapple with the real purpose of education, Prerana seeks to provide true education to the children of the prostituted women in Mumbai.
When Pravin Patkar and Priti Patkar began work in Mumbai’s red-light areas in 1986, they were often asked if it was worth “investing” in the education of these children. "Do their mothers care for their children?" was yet another question that would unfailingly prop-up.
Children of Prerana at a children's festival When concrete experience showed that if appropriate support systems are made available to the mother and the child, then the formal education of the child sustains, the skeptics raised questions centered around the number of them who have reached or completed another important milestone of the Indian educational system – the tenth standard exam.
When that was seen to be fairly achievable, the comment was," Well, tenth has no value these days. Has anyone reached graduation?"
And, more recently, the question has become “"How come no one has still become a doctor or an engineer?"
Meanwhile, the work of Prerana continues undeterred…with proven results.
Ms. JTS who is now 23 was referred to Prerana when she was 14 years. Placed in a shelter facility run in Latur as she is from that region, she has now completed her graduation with 62% marks, with assistance and funds from Prerana.
Mr. SS, now 22, another orphan from Kamathipura, completed his Masters in Arts from the Pune University and secured admission for his Bachelors in Education by clearing his Common Entrance Test (CET) and secured admission in the H.K. College Mumbai in May 2008. Prerana is sponsoring his education here.
Ms PK, has gone to Hyderabad in August 2005 to complete a 3 years' Nursing course at Mother Vanini College of Nursing in Thadepalligudem, Hyderabad.
Mr. SA, whose mother was living in the Kamathipura red light district has now secured admission in the Dahanukar College Mumbai to do his Bachelor's in Science in Information Technology.
Ms SVJ, now lives independently with a few friends in a rented house and has enrolled for Masters in Social Work at the S.N.D.T. Women's University, Mumbai.
Mr. LV is currently pursuing his Masters in Social Work at Jalana in Maharashtra state.
Many more such cases abound.
So, the answer to the skeptics, is,
It has been possible to ignite hope and Prerana (inspiration) to the children of prostituted women to become educated in the complete sense, enabling them to break the nexus and move on to a better life.
Know more about Prerana http://www.preranaatc.com [External Link]
Subject: Respected Tai, ... - 22 April 2013
I really respect you for what you are doing for them .. I wish everybody had the same feeling like you do .. I am really inspired by your work and I wish to join you helping them out ... it will be really an honor if you tell me the procedure of joining your NGO if it is Mumbai western suburban More...
by: santosh shinde
Subject: God Mother ... - 20 March 2013
I really respect u for what u are doing for them .. i wish everybody had the same feeling like u do .. i am really inspired by your work madam and i wish to join u helping them out ... it will be really an honor if u tell me the procedure of joining your NGO
by: sabina akthar
Subject: salute - 14 March 2011
I salute you tai
by: rajendra wasule
Subject: ... - 4 November 2009
tai, u r doing fantastick job. keep it up
by: Ganesh Patil
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