Meet Vikash (left) and Anisha (right). It's meeting children like these that made me want to start this education centre in the first place.
Vikash and Anisha don't have a home. They live on the streets along the Holy River. There are many children like them but usually we can't do much to help them.
There are many reasons for this. The biggest is that we aren't able to offer all the support that they need. Another is that these children grew up with the freedom of playing all day long, talking to tourists, and begging for food and money. Their parents are usually uneducated and their priority is feeding everyone day by day. Education, and the children being unavailable for those six hours each day, is a luxury they can't afford. Even more difficult, these free roaming children don't want to be confined in a classroom being told what to do.
But Vikash and Anisha are unique. Even though they share the same difficulties of other street children, they choose not to beg and ask for things from tourists. They come to the Education Centre every day on their own accord. When they first started they came with dirty clothes, messy hair and dirt all over their feet. Now, five months later, they wash their clothes in the river every day, buy cheap oil to make their hair tidy, and at 11pm at night you can find Vikash studying his classwork under a street light.
I love all our children and they all make me proud, but Vikash and Anisha remind me every day how important it is to be doing what we are doing. It doesn't matter that we are small. As long as we help even one child, it's all worth it.