Tabassum Bano, Tarannum and Rubina, the change makers of Sajoi village, who restarted the village madrassa after 17 years
Untill few years, hardly few in the remote village of Tabassum Bano, Tarannum and Rubina, had been to school. But, all thanks to the high spirit of these young change makers, now 90% of the children, including girls, go to school.
Sajoi, a village in Uttar Pradesh, which is 15 km from Varanasi city is primarily inhabited by a community of sari weavers. Most of the people were uneducated, including the children. But, knowing the importance of education in the development of the community, three girls from the village stepped forward to weave a mantra of change. Tabassum Bano, Tarannum and Rubina restarted a madrassa, which was lying close for 17 long years.
We are fortunate that we are among the few in this village who have completed education up to intermediate level. Most of the elders and youngsters, especially women and girls, are still illiterate. We are just trying to dispel the darkness of ignorance from their mind, said Tabassum Bano.
The majority of the Muslim boys and girls are away from the mainstream education, even though there is a government primary school in the village. Earlier, only religious education was imparted at this madrassa, but today with the efforts of these three girls, general elementary education is also being imparted to the children. The young girls went door to door to convince the parents to send their children to the madrassa.
After completing intermediate in 2009, I realized the importance of education. All three of us thought alike, so we decided to share our knowledge with the children in our village, said Tabassum Bano.
They had only 35 students in the first month. But, after a year they managed to get over 170 students to the school regularly. However, they had to battle a lot to bring in those girls who had dropped out of school altogether. In order to attract the girl students, the trio started a cutting and tailoring course in the school. When the girls came to learn tailoring, they started teaching them simultaneously. But many parents opposed them on this. They then convinced them, saying even tailoring requires some measurements and calculations and basic education. The ultimate joy for them was when the mothers of the children too began to show an interest in education.
But all this was not easy. We faced so many challenges. The villagers would abuse us and say that we were spoiling their girls. The guys would comment on us every time we stepped out of the house. It was very humiliating. We would go to our homes and cry. But it was our parents’ support that kept us going. Without them, we wouldn’t have achieved anything, says Tabassum.
For the never-say-die spirit of these young girls; now around 250 children from Sajoi and neighboring villages are attending these classes. Along with educating the village children, Tabassum Bano, Tarannum and Rubina are also finishing their graduation and doing Information Technology training. Tabassum, Tarannum and Rubina, the three young change makers from a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, are the recipients of ‘CNN IBN Real Heroes Award 2012′.
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Image Credit: Real Heroes