A Delhi woman is on the path to transform the lives of underprivileged children.
Remember the last time you visited a public place in Delhi and spotted a child sitting at the corner of the road with a begging bowl, in tattered clothes with scraped knees and eyes full of hope? Did you feel the sheer hopelessness when you realised that this child should actually be sitting in a classroom, surrounded with other children in a safe and nurturing environment? Did you do something about it?
Richa Prasant, a Delhi resident, did. She quit her well-paying 9-to-5 job to provide these kids with what they deserve. “When I was working in the corporate sector, I had to travel by car to the meetings and elsewhere and most of the time children on the streets always caught my attention. I used to see them begging just for a penny and cleaning the car’s windows and asking for money or something to eat. Then right there, it hit me that I had to make a change in their life,” recalls Richa.
Back in 2009, when she was had just quit her job, she started her venture with just six children and tried giving them the life they deserve, the education they deserve and the books they need.
To give her ideals a solid base and expand further, Richa decided to set up a non-profit organisation, Sunaayy, in the city. Speaking about the journey she took on with the establishing of this organisation, Richa shares, “I spent a great deal of my time teaching the children, exploring their talents and their skills. For most of the children, this was the first time they were being introduced to education, the first time someone was taking an interest in their futures. By May 2019, 80 plus children have successfully transitioned to formal schools, going ahead on a journey of self-development.” The organisation has now gained a lot of followers and volunteers and impacted thousands of lives.
While Richa is providing the gift of education to many, there are multiple lessons she has learned herself in the course of her journey. “My lessons are infinite in terms of blessings that a project ran for nine years on individual contributions and fostered the spirit of volunteering amongst age group beyond geographies,” shares Richa.
She goes on to tell us the tale of Rachna, a student who turned into an inspiration and success story. “Rachna is in eighth grade currently and was in the founding batch of students at Sunaayy. When she first came, she didn’t even know what education meant. Most of her time was spent in playing or helping around the house. We would pick her from home and bring her to school. After that, she started studying and have come a long way in the last eight years, learned a lot. Rachna has also a dream to start a similar school so that children like her continue to get an opportunity to study and change their lives,” elaborates Richa.
Richa believes that people are more powerful when they empower each other to bring change. On a concluding note, she shares, “When we will join hands together then only no section of the society will remain underprivileged.”