Humanity lives in the Little Star Preschool by Fareesa Khan
The delicate story of women in India isn’t the case anymore, the transformation from fragile females to the ones conquering the world is commendable. The role of women hasn’t changed much, the change is the additional roles which this time, she is choosing for herself. But unfortunately, the male dominate society is where the inspiring stories of women gets lost amidst the run of success and fame. Usually, their stories has been categorized into what’s more impactful to what is less impactful. What we forgets in this chaos is that the source of inspiration can never be categorized instead it comes naturally from anywhere possible. One such story hidden under the huge pile of unrecognized stories is the tale of Fareesa Khan who may not be a big hit in your eyes but is doing a thing deeply entrenched with humanity and love. Dharavi, the largest sum area of Mumbai is where Fareesa Khan runs her small school called The Little Star Preschool.
The Story of Fareesa Khan
Fareesa Khan is a woman who built her own little school in Dharavi slum area of Mumbai, India, and made it her life mission to educate children who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to get proper education. But her journey as a teacher doesn’t started out of the blue but was followed by the circumstances that the life threw on her. Fareesa Khan grew up in a well settled family in Lokhandwala, Mumbai. She had a fine education and was enjoying her life to the fullest. But the tragic turn came her way when she lost her father. She was arranged to marry a man who lived in the slum due to her financial crises, it was an arranged marriage by her family. She faced a lot of problem settling into the new environment as she wasn’t use to of it. But this was not something that could drew away her passion and courage. Fareesa Khan decided to open her own school and follow her passion for teaching. In 2001, she started her own school known as Little Star Preschool. But just like any other success story, this story too had its turns.
At first, she was out of money so she had to rent a small place to run this small school. Initially, she could only afford a bench and few chairs for the students also couldn’t even manage to pay her rent on time. But these struggles never let Fareesa Khan to let her guards down instead she choose to fight. She fought for five years and today as a result she has almost 40-50 students enrolled in her school of both pre-school and nursery. To pay her rent and the electricity bill she takes a yearly fees of Rs. 8000. In this, she provides students with uniform, books and bags. It is tough to manage everything in just this amount but Fareesa says that she couldn’t even raise the fees as then the parents won’t be able to afford it. Her aim is provide her students the same quality education as provided in any other regular school. Not only this, despite of facing financial problems herself, Fareesa even provide free education to the students who cannot afford to pay the fees. Every year she face at least ten such cases. For the pre-school students they have oral exams, general knowledge, reading, speaking and other curriculum activities. As for the junior students, Fareesa focus on training them with alphabets and numbers. Her Little Star Preschool today operates like any other regular school.
It will be wrong to say that Fareesa is doing a great hit in terms of fame, but the immense happiness she gets by following her passion is all what can be counted at the end. The positive emotional experience we got after hearing her journey helps us understand how the evil of poverty has captured a major part of our country. But we are also happy to know that women are coming forward to help the younger generation combat poverty by the power of education. The story of Fareesa Khan inspires us in many ways. Her unstoppable courage makes her wonder- What makes us think that females aren’t powerful? Fareesa Khan is playing her bit towards the call for Indianness in making a better India. Are you?