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Serving selflessly, this teen started early

D. Narmadha has helped fairly just a few youngsters keep on in class

A number of years in the past, a college pupil from a village close to Mambakkam in Tiruvallur district needed to drop out and begin working to supply for his household. He might need continued that approach, outdoors the varsity system, however for the efforts of one other pupil, D. Narmadha.

The daughter of a day by day wage earner, Ms. Narmadha went round accumulating cash and gave it to his mom, convincing her to ship him again to high school. Now, the boy is pursuing Class XI at a college in Chennai.

He will not be the one baby that Ms. Narmadha, 17, a Class XII pupil of the Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School at Uthukottai, has helped. With the help of lecturers and employees members of the Integrated Rural Community Development Society (IRCDS), she has helped fairly just a few youngsters keep on in class, in essentially the most extenuating circumstances. In recognition of her work, she was given the State Award for Girl Child Empowerment by Chief Minister Edappadi Ok. Palaniswami on Wednesday.

“Through some friends, I came to know that a girl of Class VIII had to stop her education owing to family pressure. I spoke to her parents, but they did not listen to me. So I took a few teachers along and spoke to them. Now she is back at school. I have also stopped child marriages after getting information through friends,” says Ms. Narmadha, a resident of Velagapuram in Tiruvallur district, who aspires to change into a Collector.

Not a rosy life

However, life has not been rosy for Ms. Narmadha both. Her father Devan and mom Kokila are day by day wage earners. “I earn ₹250 a day and my wife ₹100. We live in a remote village. But we don’t want all these factors to affect the education of our children. We want our eldest son D. Naveen Kumar, studying in college, and daughters Narmadha and her younger sister D. Dakshayani, studying in Class XI, to pursue higher education and help others,” says Mr. Devan.

His daughter has been doing social work ever since she was in Class VIII. “She became a member of our IRCDS and Children Believe, an NGO, after she attended our free tuition classes. We started speaking about child rights in the class and the kids formed a group to help children in villages, and we provided training,” says P. Stephen, programme supervisor, IRCDS.

Ms. Narmadha led the opposite youngsters in stopping baby marriages and rescued baby employees in her village. “Her village does not even have a proper bus service to the town. Despite all odds and her family circumstances, she has been fighting steadily for child rights. Along with teachers, she has created awareness of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme, dengue and COVID-19 in the villages. She has also mobilised laptops to help children attend online classes. She also won awards from government officials earlier,” Mr. Stephen provides.

She is now striving to make her village child-friendly. “I want to ensure that all children’s rights are protected,” she says. Mr. Devan says his daughter has made him proud: “She is helping other girls come up in life. What more does a dad need?”

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