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Children from Poor and Inhumane Background Going School for the First Time
 Dharam Veer
Kiran
Nancy
Mangal Kumar
Pradeep Kumar
Yash Kumar
Priyanka
Ek Koshish feels immense pleasure to write this blog that our constant efforts to make the children coming from the very very poor and inhumane background of society, eligible to take admissions in an English Medium Modern School.
Ek Koshish has been providing coaching and training continuously to 23 children since long for making them capable of receiving proper education at public schools so that they become successful in their lives and be equally placed in the society and get rid of the curse of poverty and inhumane livings. Out of these 23 children, seven children shown in the photos above have qualified for admissions in Dr Karam Vir Public School, an English Medium Public School at Faridabad. Ek Koshish has fully sponsored their entire admissions and monthly tuition fees and other expenses to be incurred on their education (uniforms, bags, books and other stationary etc) as their parents could not have afforded any of their expenses. Most of the parents are daily wage earners and seek the work on daily basis. They also belong to farfetched areas where life is too tough and harsh having always lack of even basic amenities and facilities and no education at all.
It was a matter of proud for entire team of Ek Koshish to see the parents of children so happy on the occasion of admissions of their children. They were very excited to see their children going for the first time to any school. It was visible on their faces that they could believe to see that their children would be admitted in an English medium public school in which children of the rich class also take education. During discussion with them, the parents of these children told that as far as their memory goes back, no one in their entire family had ever gone to any kind of school what to say of public school. All parents of these children are illiterate knowing no alphabet (except one i.e. father of Yash who attended primary school in village upto 2nd standard in village). The parents of these children have now started dreaming to make their children Engirneer, Doctor, Government officer etc. May God bless them to see their dreams turning out to be true!   
To see the ecstasy, joy and happiness and other mixed emotions of happiness (which is very difficult to express in words) on the innocent faces of these children, on the occasion of their admission, was really a great moment in our lives which one can really equate with ‘bliss’. 
The entire team of “Ek Koshish” is very very thankful to all who have contributed in this “one attempt” and further hope that the same co-operation shall be rendered to us for all such humane efforts dedicated to society. Ek Koshish is highly thankful to its volunteers specially Mrs Sunita and Mrs Daisy who have contributed a lot by putting thier much needed efforts to make these children capable for public schools. We are also thankful to Mrs Sunita who has in addition to her other efforts, taken the responsibility of Kiran also. 
Ek Koshish One Attempt
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Yesterday was a very special day for us here at Ek Koshish! Our volunteer from the US, Justin ji (we add “ji” after someone’s name in Hindi as a a sign of respect), turned 24, and we threw him two special parties! For the first party, we invited the children from our school: The children didn’t even know what a birthday is, so we tried to organize the party to be as entertaining as possible.  When the children arrived, they all even had presents for the birthday boy! They brought two Cadbury chocolates and fresh flowers, which was inexplicably kind for these poverty-stricken children. We purchased a cake for the children, a bottle of pepsi, chips, cookies, two chocolates each, party hats, and noise makers, so that the children could feel that a birthday party is special! Once our students finished dancing to their heart’s content, they fed the birthday boy a piece of cake, which is a common tradition in India on birthdays. Then the children started eating the birthday snacks, and they were very happy to try all of these new treats, as they had never tasted pepsi, chips, or even cake before! Finally, we treated them to another cartoon, their first Daffy Duck cartoon, before the children had to get going. After our first party, we held a “pooja” (Hindi for an Indian prayer ceremony) at the volunteer’s host family home, and afterwards, when the entire family was back from work, they arranged a special fruit cake and gifts for Justin ji. After the family each fed Justin ji a little cake, one by one, there was a mini frosting-fight too! Enjoy the photos and the short clip of our students dancing!

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Yesterday, the team at “Ek Koshish, One Attempt” donated various clothes, toys, and other contributions to a very needy family in a nearby slum in Delhi NCR. Four days ago, a baby boy in the slum was born: His aunt, Nancy, one of our students that we have been educating at our school for teaching the poor and illiterate to read and write (see picture above), told us about her sister’s birth, so the Ek Koshish team decided to purchase all of the items that we donated to him and his family. This newborn has not been named yet, but his mother was elated to see that, from the beginning of her son’s life, he is surrounded by people who care about him. The family is so poor, that they did not have any clothes for the child. About the size of an adult hand, the baby was very cute, but very thin, fragile, and weak. We are optimistic that this child, like his aunt and neighbors, will be able to come out of a life of living in the slums, once they obtain proper education and support from our NGO. It was a very happy Father’s Day for everyone here at Ek Koshish, One Attempt!
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Yesterday evening, “Ek Koshish, One Attempt” commenced its newest project: tutoring a group of women and children from slum areas of Faridabad, Delhi NCR! We began our classes with five students, whose names are Mohini (about 22 years old), Nancy (about 11 years old), Badal (about 3+ years old), Vicky (about 4+ years old), and Ajay (about 4+ years old). They come from such poor backgrounds, such that nobody keeps track of their birthdays or ages, which is why we have to approximate their ages. The eldest, Mohini, wanting to escape from her miserable lifestyle, would never like her son, Ajay to be illiterate at any cost either, which is why she came with her son to our orientation program. The others, Nancy, Badal, and Vicky, whose parents, like Mohini, remain busy throughout the day, unable to keep track of their children because of their work. Even Nancy, at such a young age (about 11), forcibly had to adopt a maid’s job in Faridabad, by visiting different homes to sweep houses, mop floors, and wash dishes. Because of her work, we have to arrange the classes in the evening, so that she can continue to support her family. It is heartbreaking for us to witness such a young child with the responsibilities of an adult; but we are working towards teaching her not only to read and write in Hindi and English, but also some to teach her professional skills geared towards her interests, so that she may one day respectfully earn and support herself and her family independently. Mohini and Nancy shamefully admitted that they had never learned how to read or write, not even the first Hindi character in our “prathmik gyan” (a phrase that roughly translates to “alphabet” in English), which inspired them to seek help from us. As we conversed with them, we learned that they wholeheartedly want to come out of their cursed lives and gain respect via education and sharpened professional skills. We feel that they will pick up the subjects quickly, because of this immense interest in learning, to better themselves along with society. To give more background about the other students, the boys, for the most part, spend their days wandering aimlessly and even playing in dangerous, sometimes life-threatening areas, where nobody pays attention to safety or hygienic needs. The three boys don’t take baths regularly and are unaware about how to use toothbrushes for cleaning their teeth: we observed that their teeth were in poor conditions, having bad odor and yellow to even some black teeth. With their hygiene as a top priority, we decided to provide them with necessities, i.e. toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, clothes, shoes, toys, and even sports equipment, which would be required for their all around development in the future. During our long chat with them, we found them to be quite interested in these ideas, should such amenities and facilities be provided to them. We have purchased study material for the children to use to practice their alphabets (English and Hindi), drawing and stenciling exercise books, initial textbooks, and school bags for each of the students. We have purchased sports equipments like badminton and table tennis (or what people call “Ping pong” in the US), and we shall introduce them to various games for their recreation and physical fitness. We believe that games always play an important role in building one’s character and personality.
Otherwise, once we introduced ourselves and explained that we wanted to work with them as often as possible, offering chocolates, candies, and biscuits to the children during our classes, the elder children understood that our interest was in preparing them for their own successful futures. We began our lessons with Hindi and English counting: In the beginning they showed no interest, but later on, when we introduced the element of sweets as positive reinforcement, they took an interest in practicing counting. It was amazing to see that they started pronouncing English and Hindi numbers clearly and promised us to come regularly to our classes. At the end of the lesson, we taught days of the week in Hindi and English. We could easily detect their joy in hearing themselves pronouncing these foreign, English words. Hesitant and a little shy in the beginning, the children soon opened up and enjoyed the lesson, especially as they savored the sweets with which we rewarded them. When we asked them about their ambitions in the future, it was surprising to us to hear that Badal wanted to become a pilot, and others too wanted to operate trains and drive big cars. Their dreams emotionalized us to a greater extent. We wish that all of our students grow into great, honorable people in the future. We anticipate that we will have a class of eight or more students from tomorrow onward, as we expect other students from similar backgrounds. We will give more updates about our progress in the mission as we continue with our “Ek Koshish, One Attempt.”

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I wanted to dedicate this post to discuss the hardships of the students who attend the charitable school where I have been volunteering. If you have been keeping up with the Ek Koshish blog, I have not been teaching there during the month of June, because it is currently their summer vacation; but, starting July 1st, we will be starting classes again, and I will continue my English grammar lectures with the help of a Hindi-speaking English teacher. Everyday at the end of school, I would wait outside for a “rickshaw waala” (what we call the person who drives the “rickshaw,” depicted in the photo above) while the children, who would hang around school after classes finished, would engage in conversation with me. The children explained how they really enjoyed coming to school, since they have a safe place to play with their friends, eat two meals, learn computers, and relish other entertaining subjects. Originally the children were not so interested in learning English, but, after my arrival, many of them felt urged to learn more English so that they could interact with me and learn more about the world outside of their little village in Faridabad, Delhi NCR. The students also explained that, though there is a bus that many students use to go home, not every student can be picked up by the bus: They have to walk about ten kilometers (approximately 6.2 miles) every day to school, in the blistering heat of 50˚C (122˚F), each way. It was a rude awakening to hear about their rough lives every day, considering that they enjoy walking to school, because home must be that much worse. In many cases, the children’s parents cannot afford to feed the children at all, and so the children go each day to eat two meals per day at the school, apart from Sundays, when the school is not open. It is my dream that these brave Indian students can be successful and can communicate fluently in English: Until then, my work here won’t be done!

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Witnessing this sight is one example of what initially inspired Ek Koshish to establish itself as an NGO and bring relief directly to the needy. On a very hot day, around 45˚C (113˚F), under the scorching sun in the middle of the day, this disheveled individual battles the merciless hardships of life each and every day here in Faridabad. Of course, he is but one of the hundreds of millions of other individuals in India living like him. How can we reach out to such people? What can we do to improve their lives? Where do we even start? Undoubtedly, we all ask ourselves these questions each day, but few of us ever actually make steps in the right direction to lend a hand to anyone truly needed. Yes, we all want to help, and we are willing to help; but, how do we even set the gears in motion? This motivation to provide for the deprived is why we started Ek Koshish, which has been reaching out to such people for the past two decades. We tackle these human rights’ travesties to eliminate the elements of a vicious cycle, one that dooms more people to lead a life as this man currently leads his. We urge you to contact us if you too are willing to help improve India for all of its inhabitants!
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