Still I Rise - Conquering the Skies through Higher Education

A Chartered Accountant from Delhi, an Amazon employee from Hyderabad, an Air Asia Cabin Crew from Jaipur, and a Nurse from Kolkata- What do they have in common? They are examples of how higher education can transform lives. Each person has an inspiring story of overcoming barriers and achieving their dreams through the power of education. They were not born with a financial luxury, but that did not restrain them from soaring high in their careers and uplifting the other students from similar backgrounds.   “A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes determination and hard work.” These thought-provoking words from Komal are a testament to her journey of becoming a Chartered Accountant. She lost her father in 2012 after which her brother stepped up for the family and started working as an auto driver. Her mother and brother pushed her to study and join a CA course. While her goal was set in front of her, the means came through Udayan Shalini Fellowship (USF). She f

End Child Labour: Guiding Children in the Right Direction

When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry "'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.                                                                                                                    ---William Blake, The Chimney Sweeper The figure of Chimney Sweeper in Blake’s poem is the emblem of the exploitation of children in the Industrial Age. According to a report submitted to a parliamentary committee on the employment of child sweeps in 1817, ‘the climbing boys’ as young as four were sold by their parents to master-sweeps, or recruited from workhouses. Inhumane practices like forcing pins into the sweeps’ feet to encourage them to climb more quickly were prevalent. One would expect this to be a historical practice. Alas! Child labour is still very much prevalent in different forms around the world. According to the 2011 Census, the number of child la

A pocket full of hope

Just like another intern, I with other interns visited one of the Udayan Ghars: Home 12.    There were 12 girls with happy faces and chirpy voices. Everyone had a different personality yet all living under one roof. It’s so amazing that these Udayan Ghars provide sunshine homes that foster abandoned and orphaned children in nurturing settings. While some of the girls in the Udayan Ghar were shy others were the complete opposite, but every girl in the house was unique. Udayan care has done a great job by putting all of them under one roof. This not only helps them to become independent but also helps the girls to be successful in some or the other ways in the later years when they experience the real world i.e. after the age of 18 years. While I was there I did not feel that they are total different girls together but a bunch of cousin sisters living together pursuing their own goals and ambitions in life. These Udayan Ghars have lightened the ability in a child to grow into an i

Of pink bedsheets, young philosophers and an unexpected afternoon...

During my internship at the office of Udayan Care, I get the chance to visit the Udayan Ghar in Sant Nagar, a foster home accommodating twelve girls. A personal impression   I ring the bell with mixed expectations. I´ve heard praise about the Udayan Ghars from literally all the staff, seen the long list of awards the organisation received – but from experience I know that despite being praised and awarded, an NGO might still fail or simply not care to improve the situation of its target group. So I try to keep my hopes down, but still I can´t help to secretly wish that this time it will be different. Well, it is. The door is opened by a young woman, who, as I will learn later, is one of the caregivers that constantly live with the girls. I get a short impression of a large, well-lit flat, several beds covered with pink bedspreads, then I am asked to sit down, being successively offered water, lunch and chai and introduced to the Home´s coordinators, Preeti and Poonam. A few gi
  Reflections on a Year Gone Past -- Udayan Care’s Year in Review 2015 "When I woke up today in the morning, I started replacing old calendars on the walls and my desk. I noticed that the calendar in my mobile had also changed. Standing at this milestone in time, I think it is time to recall our past and our thoughts, words, and deeds, and see where we stand. Let's scan our fears, dreams, doubts, achievements, experiences, activities, behaviour, trials which left an impact, may be bigger or smaller, on our lives. Leave behind the demons of the past and look forward to a brand new start in 2016. The New Year can mean a fresh start, some much needed change, or a continuation of success and happiness.  New Year is not about changing the dates but direction; it’s not about changing the calendar but commitment; it’s not about changing the actions but attitude. May each and every day of yours be renewed with lots of happiness and love. Let us also light a few candles at the altar
  Make a Difference in between the "Too Much" happening around! I wish I could only write about the happy stories I encounter on my trips, but I feel the need to share about these things is much higher than my fun-filled experiences that I share with my friends & family. On my way to Chandigarh, I saw lot of poor children at every traffic light, who were selling small items like balloons, sweets, newspapers, magazines, etc, there were few who were cleaning the car that stops at the traffic signal, some were begging for penny so that they can have food & what not. I mean  THAT  was the time when I felt bad about my country because of what I have seen in my trip. It certainly made me feel that India is a land of  “Too Much” ; too many people, too much poverty, too many orphaned children, too much starvation, too much sickness, too any uneducated children and adults — it can seem overwhelming. On this trip, we saw the aspect of “too much”,  but we also realized the pot
Udayan Care's Work Educating Females Despite the advances made in education in India over the past decade, many of the benefits are still yet to be felt by girls and women, particularly those from rural and disadvantaged areas. Statistics continue to show that females are less likely to attend school, are less likely to finish school and are less likely to attend and graduate from university. Twenty per cent of Indian children still do not go to school, the majority of which are girls, and the number of illiterate women still outweighs the number of men (UNICEF India). In a country were education is often a key stepping stone on the path to a better life these trends are preventing Indian girls and women from fulfilling their potential. As women are often the bedrock of families denying them education can have a knock-on effect which limits the quality of life for their family and their children. Udayan Care has recognised this problem in India and has founded the Udayan Shalini Fe