A young girl in Patna, Mustari, overcomes loss and poverty, prioritises education.
Varsha, our Community Correspondent from Bihar, first met Mustari about five years ago at the NGO where Varsha volunteers. Mustari would sometimes prepare the food for their meals. Working closely with advocacy for women's rights and having herself struggled with the obstacles of a misogynistic society, Varsha was moved and inspired by Mustari's story.
Mustari was orphaned at a young age. Left with two siblings and not much else, she decided to take up small part-time jobs, cooking and doing domestic work to sustain her family. She'd make around Rs.5-600 a month. In an environment where few girl children are allowed to be educated, Mustari insisted on going back to school, despite the opposition she faced from her uncles and aunts. "Now she is 24 years old and in Standard 12. She's been balancing working, studying and looking after her family for years. But she doesn't give up," Varsha told us.
Mustari now teaches young children the alphabet, numbers, games and art at a missionary school in Patna. Not only has she recognised the power of education, but she is determined to proactively participate in spreading its goodness. She also helps out with social work, assisting the illiterate with filling out government forms and applications.
"I was really inspired by her, and that too she is so young," said Varsha. "I want to tell everyone that if there are children like this around you, who want to study but can't, you should do everything in your power to support them."
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