Mamta Patel – At 13, Mamta is exceptionally mature and focused much like her brother Vikas, who also is in class 5. Mamta and Vikas share a desk towards the back of the class, where they sit together and devote their attention to the class work. Mamta works diligently on her own, completing her work and very often coming up with the only correct answer amongst the entire class.
At home, Mamta’s family shows outward preference for the boys in the family. Her family is big – with a total of 6 brothers and 4 sisters, and four or her siblings study at BSS. The gender preference in her family is a difficult situation for her to handle. Her mother will give the boys more to eat and encourage them, while showing strict discipline over the girls. Mamta is compelled to contribute to the family by doing the majority of the cooking and cleaning. She is also responsible for earning money by stringing beaded mala necklaces that are sold in Sarnath’s religious places. One day, she dreams of becoming a teacher or nurse.
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