Shruti was born and being raised in a poor family in a remote village in Odisha state. Her father is a daily construction worker and mother, a housewife. She is currently a student in Upper Kindergarten (UKG). Before Covid-19 lockdown, Shruti enjoyed going to school and learn her lessons. She liked most to play with her friends. Shruti does not have access to online classes because her parents can not afford to buy a smartphone and network connection is very poor in her village. Her parents can not read and write English and therefore, she is without any guidance at home. Most of the time, Shruti has spent more time with her mother, play around with her brother and other friends in the neighborhood. Shruti can not wait to see Imagine School reopen so that she can resume her studies. Like other children, Shruti is vulnerable because of Covid-19.
COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. It’s impact on children and their education is far worse in remote villages of Odisha, India. Bikash is currently a student in Imagine School. Bikash lives with his parents, his two brothers and his aunty in a small and thatched mud house in a remote village in Odisha. His parents are poor farmers and they labor very hard in the paddy fields to provide for the family. Bikash is incapable of studying from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Unlike many privileged children, Bikash does not have access to attend online classes because his family does not own a computer or smartphone at home. His parents are also illiterate and cannot help Bikash learn to read and understand his lessons, so Bikash is struggling with his studies. During the day, Bikash has nothing to do at home so he wanders around the house or plays with his brothers and his neighboring friends. Since lockdown began, there has been no income and they are facing financial crisis. They are surviving on very few meals of rice and curry. Without the guidance and help from his teachers, Bikash is unable to complete his lessons. He misses going to school and is hoping for the situation to change so he can continue his education. Our staff have visited Bikash often to help him one-on-one with his studies and counseling him.
The year 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, as billions of people grapple with the realities of COVID-19. Due to the COVID-19 lock-down, all educational institutions in India have been closed since March 2020 including our Imagine School. This has challenged us, as staff, to rethink and redesign how to do charitable work in a sustainable way. One Imagine School first grader, Rajashree, and her family have been greatly affected by the current situation. Thankfully, we have been able to help. She, along with her mother, younger brother and grandparents live in a local village in a 12×10-foot mud-thatched room covered with hay with no electricity and no nearby shops. With the lock-down, her grandparents became unemployed and so it has been very difficult for her family of five to secure even daily food with their limited resources, let alone medications like those her mother recently needed. Rajashree misses the Imagine School days and since they have no computer or smartphone at home (no electricity), they are unable to get access to join online classes. Without going to school, she is struggling to keep up with her studies. Our Imagine School teachers have often visited her with school and food supplies to help her family during this time and Rajeshree is looking forward to going back to school soon. We continue to rejoice in the achievements by our capable staff who manage the day-to-day and special COVID-19 relief operations.
My name is Rekha (name changed). I am now 5 years old and my birthday is January 19. Blue is my favorite color. I love to eat mango and chocolates. I live with my parents and a younger sister in a small village in the state of Odisha. We live in a small thatched house made out of mud with trees around it that give shade and protect us from the heat when the weather is hot and humid. We own a small piece of land. My father cultivates and works every day in that field to produce rice and vegetables. We survive on the grains and vegetables that our field produces and fully depend on its produce. When the rain is scarce and the land becomes dry, it makes it difficult to grow and produce crops and we have to struggle to survive. Sometimes my parents have to try and find ways to earn some money in order to feed us, which is not easy.
I enjoy going to school and love all its activities, learning how to read and write and experiencing many new things. I like drawing and coloring pictures. I would like to become a doctor when I grow up.
My name is Subhajeet (name changed). My birthday is August 20. I am 5 years old. I like to eat noodles and biscuits. I am a student in Imagine School. My favorite color is green. I am from a poor family and I am the only child. I live with my parents in a small mud house in a village in the state of Odisha. My father is a manual laborer and my mother is a housewife. As the only bread earner of the family, my father has to work hard every day in order to support our family. Sometimes my father is not able to work and we face a financial crisis which makes our life difficult. At home, we eat meals of rice, Chapatti with Dal curry and puffed rice prepared by my mother.
What Imagine School is like for me – I love going to school every day and enjoy all the activities. In school I get to learn how to read and write in English. I also love drawing and coloring. I enjoy playing in the school playground with friends. I feel very fortunate to be able to go to school and receive education. When I grow up, I would like to become a police officer.
My name is J. Tudu (name changed). I love to eat cakes and my birthday is May 5. I am a student in Imagine School and my favorite color is green. I live in a small village in Odisha with my parents. My village has about 30 houses. There are no shops or hospitals nearby which makes our lives very difficult. My father is a farmer and my mother is a housewife. We own a small rice paddy field and my father toils in it every day in order to feed us. Our life fully depends on the field, so when there is no rain and the land becomes dry and fails to produce crops, or when my father is unable to sell the grains produced from the land, we face a financial crisis in the family. But somehow, my parents manage to feed us rice/Roti and dal curry every day.
What Imagine school is like for me – I enjoy going to school every day and learn how to read and write and play with my friends at school. I like to play with toys and drawing and coloring. My parents have great hope that as I study and grow up, I will have a bright future and bring a good name to the family.
Odisha, Pin. 756033