Asha Gond, a 16-year-old tribal girl, grew up in Janwaar village in the Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. With her family entirely dependent on their, often, paltry farm produce, life was extremely difficult for them. But, their perilous financial condition never smothered Asha’s affection towards her education. Working hard, she found a deep interest in the English language and scored brilliantly in it in her 10th standard.
It was this marvellous performance that caught the eye of Ulrike Reinhard, a German national who teaches skating and English language to school children in Janwaar, and she promised Asha an education in UK. However, the path was not easy as apprehensions on the part of her family, who lacked a financial support, and barriers from the villagers were many. It took Ulrike eight months with the help of Lokendra Pratap Singh, MLA of Panna constituency, and Asha’s school teacher Awadh Bihari to help convince the parents.
Asha herself never backed down and kept trying to persuade her parents. It was her constant determination and persistence which helped her gain admission in an Oxford school to study the English Language in UK. According to Ulrike, Asha’s parents had promised not to marry her off when she comes back. Instead, she will be doing a job besides teaching students in Janwaar.
“I am very excited. I don’t know what UK is like but I will definitely make the most of it. I am not at all scared and will give my best,” said an enthusiastic Asha on her glorious achievement.
TEJASWINI SINGH | TOC
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