Giving wings to the poor- Junoon needs an applause!
Seeing poor kids begging, doing petty jobs or even wandering over the streets, not many people stop by at the sight. Lesser of them even finds a curiosity, unlike Haimanti Sen who is marking the beginning of a new era! Who is she and what does she do doesn’t needs an answer rather an explanation that may inspire you too to do better for the needy. So, let’s dive into her journey and explore what gems does Sen has to offer!
Haimanti Sen and her Junoon journey:
The founder of ‘Junoon’ Ngo, Haimanti Sen is well determined to change the fate of the poor kids wandering inside the Kandivali station. Kids stuck into poverty, forced to feed family are the best example of those being victim of illiteracy and misery of future unemployment. Just to ensure that the fate doesn’t hit them hard, 23 years old Haimanti Sen has created a school, eccentric in its approach but productive as an output. She runs a unique school at the skywalk of Kandivali station where she teaches at least 15 kids and equip them with every possible means to enroll in a well school. But her journey doesn’t started on its own rather by a desire.
While wandering inside the Kandivali station, Haimanti often wondered that the kids over there ever went to school or not. Through her inquiry, Haimanti was shocked to know that some of these have been to schools for a short time and rest doesn’t even know how a school look like! As a result, she decided to run a school all by herself for these kids, where they can study and secure their destiny. A drama teacher herself, Sen every day around 3pm reaches the skywalk and teach them alphabets, basic arithmetic and cognitive skills ensuring that no kid around her is left uneducated. Despite the omnipresent challenge of maintaining a curriculum where students willingly listen to her, Haimanti has been doing so since a year! The major obstacle came in the form of convincing their parents for whom these kids were the income heads.
Most of the kids belong to the Pardhi community, which is tormented by poverty. Unstable circumstances at home, unpredictable future and lack of basic needs like clothing, food and a roof, the families are compelled to live on the walkways of Mumbai. These parents has grasped their reality so hard that many of them willingly choose to drop out their kids from her school, but Haimanti doesn’t lose hope and she continued approaching them. Though she only has 15 students as of now, she is hopeful that in future there will be more enrollments.
“When I started my initiative in May 2018, the children were initially very reluctant, but I understood that they were fascinated by the English language and were eager to learn.” said Haimanti Sen.
Another obstacle was a suitable place to run a school for which she talked with many local politicians of the state to give her their land for running a school, but unfortunately nobody lent her even for an hour. Thus, Haimanti Sen was left with no other option than to run a school on the Skywalk of Kandivali station. The job inspired her so well that she quit her full time job and dived deep into the world the social welfare. While she began Junoon as a solo project, her NGO today has an eight-member board. These volunteers together visit the skywalk and spend their time with these kids. Apart from cognitive studies, the Junoon ensures to educate children through art, music, dance, sports and other kinds of curriculum activities. Every Saturday and Sunday the team conducts dance, art, and craft classes. Stepping a step forward, the self-funded initiative now also provides mid-day meals to the kids which encourage them even more to be regular!
The initiative by Haimanti Sen doesn’t only ensure education but also makes sure that any kid under her approach doesn’t get entangled into the world of wrongdoings. These ignored, neglected and forgotten kids, often under such misery choose the path of crime and other unlawful activities. She is an inspiration for people like us whereas a role model for the kids who seeks their shelter under her teachings! We salute her courage and passion and hope that her Junoon thrives like never before!