|Arjun (in red) and his new friends at the AIC Education Outreach Centre|
Arjun’s parents are masala (spice) sellers from the Waghri community, earning about 2,000 rupees ($40) per month to support him and his four older siblings. Last year, his oldest brother Umesh was the only one in his family who was granted admission into the AIC Education Outreach Program, due to limited space. Umesh worked hard as a 10th standard student, and, with the guidance and support of his teachers at AIC, has now graduated from secondary school and moved on to college (11th standard). This spring, his four younger siblings, including Arjun, were excited to be offered spots in the Education Outreach Program as well.
Shortly after his admission into the program, it quickly became apparent that Arjun has a problem with his right eye, and after some initial medical investigation, we scheduled a cataract surgery to correct the condition. As is often the case in these particular slum communities, Arjun had never previously attended school at the time of his enrollment in the Education Outreach Program. This means that in the span of three months, he started school for the first time (1st standard, English-medium), began attending the AIC Education Outreach Program for daily meals and tutoring, and – last but definitely not least – will be having cataract surgery later this week!
It has truly been a busy three months for this little guy, and we can’t wait to see how he continues to grow and develop once his eyesight improves and he settles into his new school and tutoring routine!