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Poverty becomes a barrier for a Darawar girl’s education in Sindh

Hailing from a remote village Bozdar Wada of Khairpur district, Gayetri Punu Darawar has passed intermediate but cannot study further as her peasant father is unable to afford the university fee.

Gayetri passed a test for MBBS in China but was offered only 25% scholarship; she also passed IBA Sukkur test for BBA but again poverty barred her.

She always topped exams from primary to class 12 to make her father’s dream come true.

Nasir Aijaz   

The 17-year Gayetri Punu Darawar’s father Dileep Kumar lived in abject poverty. He neither could study further beyond graduation nor got a job, but even then dreamt a good future for his children – and for that he worked as a peasant at the local landowners’ fields, and sparing some time he also did cobbling to earn something extra to get his children educated.

“My father often said ‘I’m graduate but the poverty put barriers and failed me to move ahead, making me continue toiling. But I want to see you living a successful life after getting higher education’,” Gayetri told Sindh Courier from a remote village Bozdar Wada of Taluka Kotdiji, district Khairpur. The village, consisting of about one hundred houses, is located some 40km off Kotdiji town.

Gayetri-Sindh-Courier-2Being eldest of her siblings – two sisters and a brother, and sentient to the hard work her father had been doing for the family, Gayetri focused on studies so that her father’s dream comes true. “In spite of hardships, my father got me enrolled in school for education. I never frustrated him, as I always topped in the class since childhood,” she told.

“We don’t have electricity at home, but I used to study at nights in the light of mobile phone torch. Even the swarms of mosquitoes and insects couldn’t distract me,” she added.

Gayetri-Sindh-Courier-5Sharing Dileep Kumar’s struggle for arduous task of ensuring uninterrupted education to his daughter, Gayetri said, “When I did matriculation, father enrolled me at the government college, located at about two kilometers from our village. He used to take me to and from the college daily on a bicycle. Since there is no road between the village and the college, he had to ride through narrow paths of fields, which became more difficult during the rains and at the time when the landowners released water for irrigating the crops.”

“Again I passed intermediate in A-grade, and started preparing for a test to get selected for scholarship and study MBBS in China. A Multan-based institution conducted the test, which I passed but unfortunately only 25 percent scholarship was offered,” she said sharing the letter which read:

Gayetri-Sindh-Courier-4“Congrats, Dear! Gayetry – (Application ID= 1350) you got 51 % Marks in MBBS Scholarship Test. On behalf of this result, you got 25% scholarship on 1st Year / Semester Tuition fee. Contact us for further details about universities and admission guideline or visit our office along with your original documents.”

“Just imagine. How can a poor peasant and cobbler afford rest of the huge amount, who hardly earns two-time meal for 7-member family including our disabled grandmother,” she said.

The government or any philanthropist should come forward and sponsor the higher studies of Gayetri Punu Darawar.

The village has 30 percent literacy rate among the females, as there is a government high school, where her sisters and younger brother are enrolled. But the Gayetri is the only girl of the village having passed intermediate and had been among the Top Ten students in Sukkur Education Board Examinations.

“For seeking good numbers in the examination, I got admission at a tuition center, but at the time of payment of fee, my father literally wept being unable to pay. But a kind hearted man – Dr. Naseer Bozdar helped us, to whom we will always be grateful.”

When Sindh Courier asked if she attempted for admission in any local university, Gayetri said, “Yes, I also appeared in IBA Sukkur test for BBA, but the same issue – we were unable to afford the fee.”

Gayetri-Sindh-Courier-3“I do not demand shelter, bread or clothes – just want education. I want help from the government or any philanthropist to sponsor my education. I want to make my career, and help my parents and the poor of my village,” Gayetri Punu earnestly said.

“My dream is to become such an educated person who helps those who can’t study because I studied very difficultly. My father is cobbler so I want to see him have a good life, see my parents, relatives and villagers happy.”

Now Gayetri Punu Darawar is facing the same problem – poverty has become a main barrier to her education like her father. Sindh Courier expects some government authorities or any philanthropist to come forward and help this girl.

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