Today we’re beginning a series of short profiles about our students, their lives and what their educations mean to them. So often, we tell our supporters that they have changed a life. “Education is opportunity,” has become our tagline. It’s all absolutely true. Here’s what that truth looks like from the perspective of our students.
Pammi Singh is from a big family—one of seven supported by her father, a farmer. Together they live on about 25000 Rupees (roughly $460) a year.
After Pammi finished primary school, her father could no longer afford her educational expenses. Instead he started looking for a “perfect match” for her. In some ways, that outcome would have made her much like her peers. In India, 47 percent of girls are wed before adulthood; 18 percent are married before they turn 15. These young brides often show signs of sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress, are twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped or threatened, and often experience depression.
But Pammi wanted more. Fortunately, she found a program run by TSF partner Milaan that helps girls who have dropped out get back into school and prepare for their Class X (tenth grade) exams. She knew her father would not spend another penny on her education, and says that only made her more determined to enroll in the program.
It was a turning point.
Today, with the help of her teachers and the support from TSF funders, Pimma has passed those exams and aspires to be a teacher one day, so that she can spread the importance of girls’ education to her community. She wants every girl to fight for this right.