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In the humble surroundings of Sai Nagar huts in Nagole, Rangareddy District, Telangana, my family faced challenges that threatened to derail our education. I am S. Swathi, a determined young girl with dreams that seemed elusive in the face of financial constraints followed by my discontinuation from a government residential education program. I am in my early teens and was quite illusive about how to move ahead in my life…

My father is carpenter by profession and my mother, a dedicated homemaker, struggled to make ends meet for our family. The burden became heavier with two elder siblings who had to drop out of school due to the very challenges that now loomed over my own educational journey.

But amidst the struggles, a ray of hope emerged in the form of the “Room to Grow” project by Bal Raksha Bharat (Save the Children). The project’s Multi Activity Centre (MAC) in Nagole became a sanctuary, addressing my learning gaps and providing the support my family desperately needed.

Financial limitations and the abrupt end of the government program had cast a shadow over my siblings’ education, leading to their unfortunate drop-out. However, these MACs buoyed in bridging the gap, playing a pivotal role in supporting my family and me. The MACs not only became a place where educational voids were filled but also a haven where dreams were nurtured.

Bal Raksha Bharat’s involvement extended beyond the classroom, helping my family link the E-Shram Cards (electronic labour identity card) to both the family and the organization. This support was instrumental in ensuring a more stable foundation for our educational pursuits.

My educational trajectory took a positive turn when I enrolled in the Multi Activity Centre at Nagole. The initiative, driven by Bal Raksha Bharat, was a guiding light for me and others facing similar challenges. It provided not just education but a supportive environment that empowered me to dream beyond the confines of our circumstance.

Determined and inspired, I am committed to studying hard and aspiring to become a Civil Servant. The support I received has not only transformed my educational journey but has given me the strength to believe in a future where dreams can indeed come true.

Bal Raksha Bharat, in line with Government of India’s New Education Policy 2020, also works to ensure that all children must have access to education including early childhood education, as that pertains to the formative period of a child and 85% of brain development gets completed during this period. To ensure access to education for all, especially to children who are enrolled yet dropped out from school to support their families the MAC centers developed in collaboration with local stakeholders and education department, Bal Raksha Bharat is working across selected urban slums and village locations to ensure support to these most marginalized kids to continue their education opportunities they deserve, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society.

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