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If there is a will, there is a way: Little Sanjana’s story is a testimony to this tenet. Her grit and zeal are inspiring as she marches ahead in life despite her physical ailment. A class VI student of a Municipal Corporation school in South Delhi, she hails from a humble background, where her mother Mamta Devi is a homemaker while her stepfather Ram Sagar works at a printing press in the city. Her biological father had passed away four years back due to physical ailment. Sanjana is the third child of her parents. She has one sister and one brother.

Like any other toddler, Sanjana was a bundle of joy for her parents showing normal developmental indicators. But fate had something else in store: as time passed, when was at the age to start walking, she could not! Her legs did not support her to stand properly or walk properly. Realising the gravity of the situation, her parents consulted the doctor at the nearby healthcare centre. But due to acute financial crisis, the family could not provide little Sanjana with adequate treatment at that time. If this was not enough, in 2019 she was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. However, this time around, she could receive adequate and proper treatment to be cured.

All this could not deter Sanjana’s indomitable spirit to study in school like other children in her neighbourhood. Her physical ailments led to a slow start for her in school. Initially, she used to feel a lack of confidence and could not participate in any of her class activities. She could not even talk properly. But her class teacher, continued to support her and used to engage her in class activities. Thus, with support from her class teacher and frontline workers of Bal Raksha Bharat, whom she fondly calls ‘Navsrishti Didi’, she continued to gain confidence and participated in various activities. As Sanjana says, “Didi engages me in different activities and make me comfortable in what I am. I feel proud of myself. In future, I will become a Police Officer.”

To bring back the necessary confidence, her class teacher and Bal Raksha Bharat’s Academic Support Fellow (ASF) made relentless effort through counselling to boost her confidence. She has also been asked to shoulder some responsibilities, like leading her class as a class monitor and start talking to other fellow classmates, which she otherwise used to avoid. Now she is also a part of the Child Cabinet in her school and helps to arrange meetings for all the leaders of Child Cabinet. Sanjana, now, is also part of mid-day meal distribution process team; she checks the distribution of mid-day meal like everyone should be in proper line at the time of distribution etc.

A confident Sanjana now wants to give wings to her dreams to become a police officer. As her mother, Mamta Devi mentions, “I am thankful to everyone’s support who has given my child the confidence to move ahead in life, accepting her reality. I am also seeing considerable improvement in her studies”.

Bal Raksha Bharat in line with Government of India’s New Education Policy 2020 works to ensure that all children have access to primary and early childhood education. Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs), including colourful and informative charts, have been made available to children by the organisation. In collaboration with the schools, we impart Life Skills Education to children to enable them to take appropriate decisions and think critically on matters related to their career, life and overall well-being.

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