RANCHI: Some years back, Atul Gera would distribute biscuits to girls who would swarm around his shop in Ranchi. These were daily wagers’ daughters, who did go to a government school, but would slip out looking for food, trash and money. Gera thought the biscuits he offered were not the solution. He announced his decision to help the girls on Facebook.
In no time, volunteers stepped forward. Together, they launched ‘Titliyan,’ a group of youths in Ranchi ready to become ‘foster parents’ to the less privileged lot after a conversation with their real parents. The ‘foster parents’ now attend the parents-teachers meetings and take down things required for these children. “I created this group in 2016 and named it as ‘Titliyan’ to give wings to these underprivileged girls, between the age group of 5-12 years, so that they can also be provided quality education,” says Gera.
Initially 11 girls were selected for one volunteer each to take care of their education and other expenses, says Gera. All of them were admitted to Anita Residential Girls School at Kanke in Ranchi. Gera was encouraged by Sister Alixia of the school, who would help the girls get admission. “These children were initially kept separate from other students to give them time to adjust in the environment.
But now, they are like any other student and are doing well in their studies,” says Gera. “I am a foster father to Sanjana who is in class 7. Every time I go there to meet her, I can notice a different kind of confidence on her face.” Another member of the group, Angela Saraf takes care of Monica who passed her Class 10 Board recently. “It feels good that I have done something good for at least one person,” said Sarraf. “I never thought I would ever go to a school,” says Dipika, adding she wants to become a doctor.