A Day in the Life of a Girl from Gular

Anchal is a twelve year old girl who comes from the Karth village in Tehri Garwhal, Uttarakhand. She lives with her family and is a diligent student who wakes up early everyday to get started on her routine. She walks to school which takes her between forty minutes to an hour. While Anchal is only in class eight, she is a responsible member of her family because on off days she makes breakfast for everyone in the house. Her same sense of responsibility also translates into helping out her classmates in their math problems since she is proficient in the subject and the teachers often rely on her to help the collaborative spirit build in class. Anchal likes studying, and while school helps her become better academically and form strong bonds with her peers and friends, she would also like to go to the Pathshala Learning Centre to learn English and Mathematics and perform and engage in fun activities with her friends. However, no other kids from her village go there and she can’t commute alone, so she focuses on school and household chores. Her life, while seemingly simple, is full of trials and tribulations, like travelling up and down the hills to and from school and even asking for a lift back so as to not get too tired after school so she can help out at home. She washes utensils, cleans the sheds and also takes care of many of the various animals that she and her family have. Anchal dreams of becoming a doctor, but wonders if her mother will ever allow her to study after 12th. Going to college seems far-fetched to her, though it is something that she would really like to do. However, she fears that like her sister, and numerous other girls that she knows, her education will come to an abrupt end after school, and she will be married early. Her zeal for learning can also be seen in her love for television, which usually translates into spending time with her family. However, even in that mode of entertainment, she listens to words and phrases which seem complicated to her, learns them and asks her teachers what they mean. This is how we see her indomitable spirit to learn. We must remember that there are many such girls who find comfort in knowing that their life is not just to be whiled away in household, domestic activities. Anchal is but one of the many girls who want to learn as much as they can, wondering if they will ever understand this big world full of big words, if they will ever see the vast world that lies outside their lives. Anchal is one of the many girls who dream to change the world through their education. It is this spirit that we want to commend and facilitate, and ideally, will come to use in changing the world. You can give wings to Anchal's dreams, donate now - bit.ly/RunwayOfHope

- Dhyanvi Khatarani

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