Our team spent an afternoon with all three of these young adults. We were struck by their light-hearted spirits. Like typical siblings, they laughed at each other one minute and exchanged, “how-dare-you” looks another. But they are not typical siblings.They were born into a home with a loving mom and an absent father. And, they were born Dalits. Also known as untouchables, Dalits are members of the lowest social group in India. They face discrimination and persecution on a daily basis. They do not have access to education, healthcare, or jobs that will pay a living wage. Although illegal, caste-based discrimination still exists in India and these three, Pranitha, Praveen, and Pravalikha, were born with little hope of triumph over a system designed to keep them imprisoned for life.
Thankfully, their fate would not be sealed by their birth.
Their family didn’t learn of our nearby school until Pranitha was 10 years old. But through the generous gift of child sponsorship, all three siblings enrolled and learned with eagerness and excitement. At school, they were safe from the violence of alcohol and the darkness of fear. They could enjoy new friends and explore new worlds through books and lectures. They thrived in the learning environment and dreamed of what they might become.
As each sibling finished high school, they went on to pursue higher education. This is no small feat! It means they passed exit exams with marks high enough to go on the next level. Now, Pranitha is a Doctor of Pharmacy, Praveen works for a healthcare company in accounting and finance, and Pravalika is training to be a police officer. They also share a middle-class apartment and have brought their mom to live with them.
Their future is bright. They have overcome.
We’re thankful for the child sponsors that supported this family. These three just needed an opportunity to rise above their circumstances, a chance to learn, and a reason to believe that their past would not determine their future. You change the life trajectory of families like these when you give the gift of education.
Want to give an eager student today a chance to learn? You’ll change a life, maybe an entire family’s life, forever.
PS — Watch more about Pranitha’s journey to be a doctor.