Stories of HOPE
At Sunbeam, there are times when we run out of stationery, or space or teacher or volunteers… But if there’s one thing we’ve never run out of, it’s hope.
All credit is due to our little wonders. Not a day goes by when we aren’t astounded by their spirit, the fight for their dreams, their unblinking faith in us and their ability to love. We present just some of the amazing ways in which they inspire us.
Having secured 81% at the SSC Board exams, Ganesh currently studies in SYJC (Commerce) at Hinduja College. He spent his entire summer vacations, for the last 3 years of his school life, volunteering at Sunbeam office, which oriented him into the work culture. In July '08, he joined Sunbeam as a part-time Accounts Assistant, and within six months, had risen to being the part time Accountant, handling all the responsibilities with minimum supervision. With an assistant under him now, he wishes to devote his life to Sunbeam in the capacity of a Finance Manager, and by extending his profile into Career Counseling and Vocational Guidance as well - for the Sunbeam beneficiaries. "Didi has given me a chance to work in my own organization. I shall handle financial reports accurately, so that donors would never hesitate to contribute to our cause," he says.
Along with pursuing a degree course in Commerce, Praveen has completed a 2-month course in Tally Training. His competency at his subject landed him the job of an Accounts Assistant at Privasia Trading Ltd., at the very first attempt, which he has taken up in a part-time capacity, so that he may attend college for the rest half of the day. His hard work infuses confidence in him. "I hope that some day Sunbeam can reach out to many more children, and can give them the opportunity they gave me," is his fervent desire.
Bhurjamma was in the Phoenix Mills centre for a brief period before her parents moved to a construction site at Dadar. She was disappointed of course, but that didn’t stop her from canvassing for Sunbeam among the 40 children and their parents at Dadar. Next, she confronted the contractor and got 2 tiny rooms where classes could be conducted. “Now you have to start a centre at Dadar,” she said with a winning smile.
The centre was started in Jan 2002. Unfortunately for Bhurjamma, her father passed away and her mother contracted a bad case of tuberculosis. Bhurjamma went to work to support her family until her mother recovered. It’s a sad irony that Bhurjamma who helped set up the centre never got the opportunity to study there herself. But thanks to her proactivity, 40 children went to school
Sangeeta a Sunbeam beneficiary since 7 years, scored 71% at her 12th Std. Board exams, and is currently pursuing the B.F.A. (Bachelor's in Finance and Accountancy) degree course. She believes her life changed course when she joined Sunbeam, "Sunbeam provided the facilities which I had only heard of up until then. I was showered with utmost care and affection. Sunbeam inspires me to always keep the faith, and follow one's aspirations with zeal." When she was in Jr. College, she had volunteered to tutor our 3rd Std. batch for nearly 9 months.
“How are you Khurshid didi, Archana didi, Pushpa didi, Chhaya didi? Hope you are fine. All other children at our centre must also be fine. But I, Arjun, am the best amongst all.”
Arjun’s self-aggrandising letter had us all in splits. Of course, what he’d meant was that he too was doing well in the village. Only it hadn’t quite come out sounding that way.
But merriment aside, there was more to be read between the lines. Which Arjun’s father articulated for us. In a voice laden with disbelief he said, “I can’t believe that within a few months of attending your classes, my 8 year old son has been able to draft a letter and post it to you.”
At the Aksa camp last year, Naresh found children making fun of Pappu, because of his worn out clothes. Naresh promptly went and handed Pappu a pair of his own clothes saying, “Don’t let others make fun of you. Here take my clothes. And use this soap to wash your clothes.” When we commended Naresh later, he merely replied, “My father always said that I should share. Today, he is no more. So I remember him by doing what he did.”
Distinction in S.S.C., a first division in 12th Board exam, and entry into the 3-year B.C.A. (Bachelor's in Computer Applications) course - these are the academic credentials of Salman, a Sunbeam beneficiary since the past 5 years, the son of a cloth-shop manager, and, not to mention, an aspiring Software Engineer.”Sunbeam has helped me through all my exams, and is still with me in my efforts. I love the picnics and camps," he says, wishing to sponsor the education of a least one child in near future.
"Sunbeam brought hope into my life. It is my dream to become a qualified Engineer, and Sunbeam is helping me achieve it," says young Manoj, a student of 2nd year of the 4-year Diploma in Mechanical Engineering course. He joined Sunbeam in 2004, and has secured a first division at both the S.S.C. and the 12th Std. Board exams. "Over the years, my language skills and manner of studying have improved credibly," he says of his 5 years at Sunbeam, "The Matheran-Karjat picnic has been the occasion I cherish the most.".