Kaveree Bamzai , Patna
Shila Kumari comes out of her tiny hut on the bank of the Punpun river, her eyes blinking in the mid-morning sunlight. Her hair is oiled, her purple shawl darned but clean, her smile brighter than her red salwar kameez. At 20, she still has the mien of a much younger girl, and she wears her responsibilities lightly. Shila looks after the home, cooking and cleaning from 5 am every day. Ten am sees her trekking to the farm to put together bales of paddy. For every 50 bales, she earns five as payment.
Back home at 5 pm, she cooks for the evening, then studies by candlelight or, if she is lucky, stolen electricity. Having dropped out of school in Class 4, it’s been a struggle for Shila to learn the basics all over again but thanks to the Aga Khan Foundation’s programme, Project Lehar, she’s been able to take the Class 10 National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) exam.
Read more at the source
Watch AKF India’s video about Project Lehar