In a typical year, the beginning of March would be the final stretch of students’ schoolyear in India, busy with exam preparations, and the early excitement of going home to visit their families during the “summer break.”
This year has been anything but typical. Schools across India were closed on March 16 and students were forced to return home. Yet your sponsorship continued to support them through dry food distributions, outdoor, socially distanced “cluster” education programs, and more.
Brindharani, a 13-year-old girl, writes the following:
My days in the boarding school were very enjoyable. I had a good education, nice food, wonderful stay, and safety. In fact, I feel more comfortable staying in the boarding home than in my own home. I have unforgettable memories of playing and spending time with my friends.
But due to the spread of the coronavirus, all my joy became sorrow. When my school was closed in March, my parents were working as migrant laborers in a distant state and I wasn’t able to see them until May. In the meantime, I had to stay with relatives, where I did not get proper food
& care. Even though the government conducted online classes through television and cell phones during lock down period, I didn’t have these, so I worried that I was losing my opportunity for education.
While I was disappointed I wasn’t able to learn through online classes, I was delighted to hear from my boarding home manager and immediately joined the LPGM-sponsored Cluster Program. There I learned English grammar, science experiments, math, and general knowledge. Really it was a meaningful and very, very useful program. I was able to learn new things and recall the subjects that I had learned in the classroom. The Cluster Program refreshed my knowledge and skills. I also received dry food rations, which helped the whole family have good meals after many months.
My heartfelt thanks to LPGM & Sponsors for feeding and also giving education at this time of the pandemic. I am eagerly longing to go back to my school, where I will experience a new life of happiness.
Here are what other students had to say about their experience during the pandemic
As our traditional Pongal festival neared, my parents worried aboutPrashanth Age 13
not having money to buy food. Then my father received a phone
call from my boarding home that dry food rations would be distributed. It was a happy moment and good news to us. My heartfelt thanks to LPGM & sponsors for feeding our whole family.”
“My parents were working as migrant laborers in Mysore [more than 280 miles away], so I had to stay with relatives who didn’t feed me well. My parents walked for many days and nights to see me and reach our village. Now I am with them and eagerly looking forward to the reopening of my school, where I get a wonderful stay and good food.”Sushmitha Age 13
“I turned [the pandemic] into an opportunity to learn new skill as I just cannot sit at home. I learned tailoring from my neighbor. I’m proud to say I can now sew my own salwar/churidar and blouse.”Venkatesan Age 15