JHARKHAND: Small things mean big in places where basic needs don't exist. Just ask Asha and Subhani Tigga and they would tell you how two tribal women set up a playschool in Manoharpur Block of West Singhbhum district. Funnily, it all began with their two kids.
Today, the Little Angel Play School provides basic education to more than 50 children of Tirla village and other neighbouring villages located in one of the remotest areas of Jharkhand, .
Asha and Subhani, who are also relatives, had completed their matriculations and then completed their college studies through after hours school. Starting a playschool required money which they did not have. They took a loan of Rs 50,000 from the Sakhi Mandal and opened the school, but failed to get students.
"The first year was quite awkward for us. We had only our two kids enrolled in the playschool," says Asha Tigga, founder of the school. "Yet we used to go there daily and hold classes as usual. We used to ring the bell everyday and take recess breaks like any school. People used to laugh at us, but we were sure that they too will send their children to our school," Asha recalls.
That happened. In the second year, the number of children in their playschool rose to 5 and then to 15. It was in the second year that the parents started coming in along with their kids. Since most of them had not seen a play school, they got attracted to toys and other playing equipment in the school which was the unique feature for a backward tribal region like Manoharpur, says Asha.
"With playing and learning gears, children picked up things quickly. Then, we also introduced free education to five children of below poverty line families as per the government guidelines. We overcame our limitations by sheer determination," she said.
"These two are doing a great job of educating our children in English medium. After studying here, we can send our children to any convent school. This is the only playschool in the entire Manoharpur block," says Mukhiya of Raikera Panchayat, Anima Ekka.