The road trip to Risiya block in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh was a painful one, but the talented girls of KGBV made it worth the effort. CARE through Join My Village’s Girls’ Education Program supports 24 KGBVs that are state government-run residential schools for girls in the age group of 10-16.
At Risiya, the girls had organized a community seminar, an event similar to a school concert. The event was even more special since present in the audience were parents of these girls. This gesture holds significance since in most of rural India, girls’ education is not considered important and such events would be considered a waste of time.
Dressed in their finest, the girls had been up since morning to ensure that the day went off without a hitch. Even the excessive hot and dry weather could not dampen the spirits of these little stars in the making. The girls had been rehearsing for this day for weeks.This was an opportunity for these young, bright girls to showcase all that they had learned since they came to the KGBV. A day to prove that the parents’ decision to send them to school was not wrong.
One after another they took to stage to showcase their talents. Vaishali and Jafreen, class 7 students at the KGBV, kicked off the seminar with a beautiful welcome song. Despite their tender age, the girls showed no hesitation and sang with confidence. An English poetry recitation by Farida Begum followed by a couple in Hindi by other students had the audience hooked.
Class 8 student Sahina’s ghazals (a genre of mellifluous songs) had everyone spellbound and so touched was the audience that her parents as well as that of other students gave her small gifts as token of their appreciation.
And it wasn’t just the parents who were proud of these girls. Their teachers and GEP staff too were beaming as it was their combined effort with the girls that resulted in the spectacular performance.
A group song performance taking a humorous dig at the teachers had the audience in splits. The stage events ended with a devotional song sung by Akanksha, Sahina, Vaishali and Sabeena. The talent in these girls was such that, if given an opportunity, they could give the best a tough competition.
This was the first community seminar in the school and the girls were performing in front of the crowd for the first time but there wasn’t the tiniest sign of nervousness in them.
The parents were unanimous in saying that they never knew their little girls had such potential. One parent Ali admitted he had come just because the girl had insisted and wasn’t looking forward to the seminar but was forced to change his mind after the performances.
Seeing the girls show such brilliant talent besides improvement in academics, the parents promised to ensure that the girls did not dropout of school mid-term.
The awesome day spent with these little stars of future erased all memory of the rough ride we had earlier in the day and we left Risiya with a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts.