stories of transformation
We are privileged to have had hundreds of thousands of school and college students volunteer as part of the Each One Teach One campaign. Here are some of their testimonies.
Class 8 Student, Study Hall
I am very happy to have this chance to teach illiterate children. It was a new experience for me. I will try to take out time to teach poor people so that the next generation can have a better future.
Anonymous Literacy Volunteer
There’s no greater joy than being able to share my knowledge to serve others – whether they be of my own caste or some other caste, it makes no difference. Even people who have never gone to school don’t have any difficulty learning.
Class 7 Student, Study Hall
The person I taught was none other than my trusted maid. It was a great experience for me. We had a lot of fun together. She was a very keen and fast learner. After each lesson she used to ask for one more lesson and would extend the lesson 40-50 minutes sometimes.
Class 5 Student, Loreto Convent
As this project says that ‘no one should be left behind’ I found a girl called Gunjan who was very eager to study. Gunjan found it really tough in the beginning but she has learned so much that she can now read a newspaper. Through this experience I have got to know Gunjan and her family really well.
Class 12 Student, Canossa School
I loved doing the project because I saw the joy and opportunities a person gets by becoming literate. For simple things like making groceries list or reading something in the bill she was dependent on others. But now she can do these things on her own.
Class 8 Student, Study Hall
My learner Shabeena had never been to school. When I started teaching her, she couldn’t even recognize her own name. Starting out she was very playful and wasn’t that eager to learn. But after her first session she took a real interest in learning Hindi. She was so excited after she learnt that she took the book to teach her elder sister Ruksana.
Class 9 Student, Loreto Convent
The special bond that has developed between us will always make us remember each other. There is a feeling of gratefulness that I see in their eyes. Seeing their self-confidence increase after learning how to read makes me feel really proud.
Anonymous Literacy Volunteer
The first day only 3 people came to my classes, but gradually it increased to 15 people coming daily, as they discovered the joy of reading. They initially asked me ‘How much are you earning for this?’, but I explained that I’m not earning anything, I’m just doing it to serve society.
Canadian volunteer working in Indian slums
One 35-year-old man had previously asked me for help with Hindi documents and couldn’t even recognize his own name. After a 20 minute session, he was able to read all the two letter words in the first lesson, and some of the three letter words. He was so excited, that he wanted to keep the book for practice and to teach his wife and son.
Class 7 Student, City Montessori School
The Literacy Now app was very helpful when I took my learner’s pre test. I liked the format of the questions. The explanation of the topics is excellent. I loved the app.
Class 8 Student, City Montessori School
The Literacy Now app is user-friendly. The innovative and interactive way of teaching is helpful for the learner to understand and explanatory. I am enjoying teaching with the hybrid teaching method.
3rd Year BA Student, Christian Degree College
In today’s scenario, education is the most important part of life. For the development of our country, education is the first priority. As NSS volunteers, we are daily working hard to teach the people – whether they be children or adults.
3rd Year Agriculture Student, Chandra Bhanu College
I learnt a lot from the people in a slum by the side of the railway track. After all these circumstances they have a tremendous learning attitude and attraction towards studies. From the scenario they were not able to identify letters, to being able to read paragraphs: it was their learning attitude which made their dream come true.
1st Year BA Student, KKC
Before joining the campaign, I was a bit concerned whether I would be able to manage my time. But after joining this program, I am really happy. I don’t want to miss these classes. The quality time spent there [in the slum] makes my day a happy and good one. Not only do we teach but also learn different things. Each moment there is well spent… I just love it.
Literacy changes lives. Be inspired by some stories to understand the difference our program has made in the lives of vulnerable children and adults.
Sufia, 40, doubted that she would ever be able to learn to read at her age. We encouraged her to get through the struggle of the first few lessons, which was compounded by the embarrassment of others watching on. As it turned out, Sufia was one of our fastest learners ever – she went from unable to recognize letters, to reading sentences fluently in just one month. At the next parent-teacher meeting the teacher offered her an inkpad to make a thumb impression, but Sufia reached instead for a pen, with a big smile on her face!
The first students to become literate using DEVI Sansthan’s program were three cousins. Each one of them had their own struggles with school, which had kept them from literacy. Inama was a diligent student but found it difficult to rote memorize the letters. Heena was a quick learner but spent most of the day doing domestic chores, and thus had little time for study. Meanwhile Muskan suffered from a liver ailment which kept her from attending school. Despite these difficulties, each of the three girls learnt to read in just 1 to 2 months. Their efforts showed us from the beginning that the dream of literacy for all is really possible.
Inama, Heena & Mushkan
Rehana is a 7 year old girl from a very poor family. They’ve seen great misfortune in their lives, and rarely gets the attention she needs, so she often skips school and has terrible behaviour. However, when we started the literacy program with her, her attention was focused, even though she could only recognize two letters at first. Since then, her focus has been amazing – though it took her three lessons to understand how to join letters together, today she is reading fluently.
Shania, 9, was not enrolled in school when we first met her. Her father often drank, so family finances were tight. Shaniya’s mother also doubted her ability to learn well in school. But Shaniya learnt to read swiftly using DEVI Sansthan’s literacy materials – just a daily 15 minute session several times a week over 3 months. Impressed with this improvement, Shania’s mother enrolled her in the local school. Five years on (at the time of writing) Shania is now a confident young woman in Grade 8.