As 17-yr-old Ashwini Sable offered a sweet to her grandmother, Tulsabai, a wastepicker who has raised the orphaned girl on her own, her eyes welled up.
“My son was also very good at studies. He dropped out later, owing to our straitened conditions, and started driving an autorickshaw to support the family. But till the time he was in college, he would get very good scores. Today, I see him in her (Ashwini),” said Tulsabai.
Sable, who scored 68.9 per cent in her HSC examination, is a resident of Vitthal Nagar in Pimpri. She lives with her grandmother, two siblings and a paternal uncle. A student of B J S College, Sable aspires to join civil services. A shy girl, Sable did not discuss much about her future plans, but her grandmother said she often speaks about becoming a ‘commissioner’.
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“Her dreams are very big and we don’t know if we can support her. But I am going to try my best. I have kept her away from taking up any menial jobs, which most families in our locality make girls do. I want her to study hard and get out of this situation,” she added.
Meanwhile, Kanchan Chandanshive, a single mother who works as a wastepicker, worries about her daughter’s ‘big’ dreams.
Sanjana scored 68 per cent in her HSC exam and hopes to become a fashion designer, but her mother is pushing her to attain a Commerce degree instead.
The reason: inability to afford the fees of the course.
“All day she keeps looking at photographs of well-dressed people. She likes to dress up; she gets cheap material and then re-designs it. I know that she wants to pursue fashion designing, but I cannot afford the fees. I have asked her to take admission in a commerce-aided college, where the fees would be minimal,” she said.
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