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Jharkhand girls make it to toppers’ list defying odds

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day

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St.Aloysius School Ranchi Jharkhand affiliated to the Jharkhand Academic Council Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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By Nityanand Shukla, Ranchi: Nothing could stop Aarti Kumari of Ranchi. Defying all the odds — poverty to displacement — this girl from Jharkhand stood out in her effort to make a mark. Today she has tasted success: Aarti is at the second spot in this year’s Arts intermediate merit list published by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC).

Aarti had lost her father in 2015 when she was studying in the 12th standard. It was then left to her mother to shoulder the responsibilities. But a distraught Aarti could not take the JAC exam that year.

But she pulled herself together and made up her mind. This year, she took the test and the JAC result proved that she’s one of the brightest students in Jharkhand.

Her mother has been the pillar of strength for Aarti and her brother, who has also completed his engineering studies.

Besides losing her father, Aarti had to face displacement as the family was forced to vacate their tenement in Naga Baba Khatal. They took shelter in another part of Ranchi. It was a tough time, but Aarti was constantly supported by her mother who told her to never deviate from her academic pursuits.

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day.

Similar is the story of Gayatri Singh of Gumla district. Her parents work at a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh. Gayatri, however, didn’t follow them to the neighbouring state — she stayed back along with her sisters and brother, who works in a local store.

Gayatri had been adamant that despite financial constraints and the troubles that come with it, she would never give up studying. Her brother worked hard to ensure that Gayatri was not forced to drop out.

The result has been spectacular: Gayatri is at the third spot on the JAC merit list.

No wonder then that the neighbours are happy — the girl next door has made them proud, proving that nothing can come in the way if one is powered by a dream, determination and hard work.

Another shining example of grit and determination is Reeta Nupur Kujur of Lohardaga district who followed her dreams even as she got married and gave birth to a son. She has secured 10th position as per the JAC merit list.

Reeta got married after taking her matriculation exam. The marital life took away much of her time, as she became a mother. But her wish to pursue studies remained etched deep in her heart. Thankfully, she was encouraged by her husband, a farmer, who understood the need to study if Reeta was to fulfil her dream to become an Indian Police Service official one day.

So after a gap of six years, Reeta got back to the study materials and took admission in a women’s college. There has been no looking back since then. Reeta now plans to pursue graduate course in English and then chase her dream to become an IPS official. (Source: IANS)

(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at nityanand.s@ians.in)

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The Biggest Casualty In Yemen’s War- Education

Yemen also suffers from a shortage of learning facilities.

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Girls attend a class at their school damaged by a recent Saudi-led air strike, in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen.VOA

The school year in Yemen is officially underway. But, the U.N. children’s fund reports the country’s ongoing civil war is keeping millions of children out of the classroom.

More than three years of fighting between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels is having a devastating impact on children’s health and well-being. The U.N. reports more than 11 million children or 80 percent of the country’s children are dependent upon humanitarian aid.

Another major casualty of the war is children’s education. The U.N. children’s fund says the education sector is on the brink of collapse because of conflict, political divisions and chronic underdevelopment.

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UNICEF: Education a Major Casualty of Yemen’s War.

As a consequence, UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac said around two million children are not going to school this year. Furthermore, he said nearly four million primary school children soon may not be able to get an education because of a severe shortage of teachers.

“About 67 percent of public school teachers — and this is across the country — have not been paid for nearly two years. Many have looked for other work to survive or are only teaching a few subjects. So, obviously, the quality of education is at stake. Children are not getting their full lessons due to the absence of their teachers. Even when schools are functioning, the schools’ days and years are shortened.”

Yemen also suffers from a shortage of learning facilities. UNICEF reports more than 2,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed by the war. Many schools also are being used as shelters for displaced people and some have been taken over by armed groups.

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FILE – A supporter carries posters depicting Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi during a rally in Sana’a, Yemen, March 6, 2015.
Image source: VOA

The agency warns children who are out of school run many dangers. It notes boys are at risk of being used as child soldiers. It estimates more than 2,600 children have been recruited by all armed groups.

Also Read: North Kivu And Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children In This New School Year

UNICEF says girls are likely to be married off at an early age. A 2016 survey finds close to three quarters of women in Yemen have been married before the age of 18, and 44.5 percent before the age of 15. (VOA)