Aasutosh Khadka, 14 years, lives in Bardiya District with his family – father, mother and three elder sisters. For the family of six, they have a tiny thatched hut. The family survives on the small income of the father, who works as a daily wage earner in India. He is absent from the home nearly all year round. Devi, Ashutosh’s mother, takes care of the domestic chores, livestock, and cultivates the small plot of land the family owns. The Khadka family faced one financial problem or another at any given time.
Aasutosh, a shy and meek child, was an average performer in the primary level (Grade 1-5). Most of the days in a week, he would be seen in the local market doing menial jobs to support his family and buy stationery. His poor parents could not provide for all the necessities of their four school-going children. Aasutosh used to carry a worn-out shabby bag to school that his elder sister had used for years. Stationery and new uniform were perennially absent. He also never had khaja (lunch) at the school. As far as he can remember, he has spent almost all winters without shoes. “I missed many school functions, extra-curricular activities and VDC level competitions because I would never have a single set of nice clothes or uniform”, reminisced Asuthosh.
GNI Nepal under its sponsorship service started supporting Ashutosh in 2013. Educational materials (exercise books, pen, pencils, eraser, geometry box, etc.), uniform, and bag were provided to him. His hobbies were also nurtured. Now, he had no reasons for staying away from school.
This small support motivated him greatly and changed his daily routine for better. He went to the school regularly and started studying at home. In the class seven board exams, he scored 55.86%, a notable improvement compared to his class six score of 51.86%. Encouraged by his progress, he started to study much harder.
Meanwhile, Devi also got involved in a GNI Nepal supported income generation (IG) group. In a few months, she started to earn cash from the income generation activities – leading to a better family environment. Aasutosh happily shared, “there came a time after that, I did not have any other worry except getting good marks”. In grade eight and nine, he secured first position with a score of 73.57% and 73.63% respectively.
School Leaving Certificate (SLC), the so-called iron-gate, is a cause of worry among students and parents alike. Aasutosh, the brightest student in his class also took coaching classes for mathematics, science, and english subjects for which support was provided by GNI Nepal.
As expected by himself, his parents and teachers, he scored 3.25 GPA (Grade A). “The day I got the SLC result was the happiest day of my life. Such an achievement, I wouldn’t, for sure, have achieved if I had not received continuous support from GNI Nepal”, Aasutosh expresse his happiness.
Currently, Aasutosh is studying science and doing quite well. He is one of the brilliant students at the college and popular among teachers and students.