Eighteen-year-old Shifa Ansari completed her school degree from Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Kalkaji last year. Soon after, she enrolled herself at a course under Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL). Over the last couple of days, Ansari has been taking time out from her busy schedule to attend a leadership programme — in a bid to “give back to the system” that made her who she is today.
The leadership programme, initiated by Alohomora Education Foundation, an NGO which works with children and adolescents, is aimed at providing government school students the kind of the exposure they never get. For this purpose, 20 youngsters, including Ansari, are undergoing a training programme to become what is known as Community Leads. After summer break, the Community Leads will counsel government school students of classes XI-XII and provide them career guidance.
“Children from government schools do not get as much exposure as children from private schools. This is an interesting way for me to give back to the system that made me what I am today. It is also a way for me to get to know myself and grow,” said Ansari.
Suraj, a member of NGO Alohomora, said, “These 20 youngsters were selected through a rigorous process. After that, we decided on training them for 20 days. Soon after, they will work in different communities and finally be sent to government schools. We have already spoken to the government about this initiative.”
Excited to go back to a school as a Community Lead, Nitisha, one of the participants of the programme, said, “Now that I am in college, I realise what all I could have done during my school days. Students of government schools do not get the right platform to showcase their talents. Even if I could guide even one student, I will feel satisfied.” Nitisha is a student of BCom programme at Delhi University’s Non-Collegiate Women Education Board.
Harsh Bhardwaj (21), who has been travelling from Greater Noida every day to attend the programme, said, “For me, the training is very important because I can help others learn and grow.”