Jahida’s story

Jahida, her mother, Rajan
Jahida (left), her mother & Rajan

The amazing summary of this story is how an Indian Dalit girl, while forced to marry, is able to continue her schooling and reach her goal of becoming a nurse.

Jahida has been attending Buddha’s Smile School since 2007.  Like many before and after her she took it upon herself to visit BSS and ask Rajan to allow her and her sister to be enrolled in Buddha’s Smile School. She’d found out about BSS from her neighborhood Bengali refugee friends while they collected trash together.

Like many Dalit girls in Northern India, Jahida is over-burdened with her family’s many survival needs which take priority over her own and are placed firmly on the shoulders of even youngest children.

“But Jahida had a dream, and some get-up and go,” Rajan Kaur Saini, founder of Buddha’s Smile School’s said. “She’d decided many years before, she wanted to extricate herself from the poor begging lifestyle and become a Nurse.”

After passing grade 5 at BSS, Rajan helped Jahida enroll in class 8 in a Government run middle school.

“It’s a pity but Jahida had to drop-out from her school last year due to more family pressures.  Her mother fell sick and Jahida had to work hard for her family to help them survive.” Rajan said. “However, Jahida was lucky and after a while we were able to help her return to school and continue with her studies.”

However, in the meantime Jahida’s mother had made Jahida marry as she felt it would protect her daughter and keep her safe. Fortunately, Jahida’s wish to continue her studies was honored and she was allowed to continue living with her mother and studying, and not have to move in with her husband’s family .

Her husband is 17 years old, the same age as Jahida.

“Jahida will move to the girls dormitory after we build it in 2016. We will then watch over her and help her develop her self confidence so she is be able to achieve her dream to become a Nurse one day.” Rajan said.

To support Jahida and the many other BSS students like her please make a donation today!



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