Farzana lives in Athipattu, a village in the outskirts of North
Chennai. She studies in grade 9 at the Government High School in
Minjur which is 8 kms away from her home. The girl had to spend one
and half hours one-way in commuting to school each day. There were
days when there were train delays due to rains or other unforeseen
circumstances, “I used to spend more than three hours commuting”, says Farzana.
Going to school has just become more fun and convenient for the
14-year-old Farzana. She no longer has to leave home very early in the
morning, take a train and then a share auto to commute to school. And
in the evening, she now reaches home early to find more time to do all
that she loves, apart from completing her homework and preparing for
the next day.
And this was made possible, as Ashok Leyland under the Road to School
program provided scholarships and bi-cycles for the girl children of
8th and 9th grades. While the Government schools upto the 8th standard
are relatively easily accessible, the High Schools and Higher
Secondary Schools are spread farther away in remote areas, thus posing
a challenge for the girl children to commute to school. Due to this,
many girls drop out of school after 7th or 8th grades, resulting in
early marriages or many of them turning into daily wage workers to
“Now I feel I’m much closer to my dream of becoming an IAS officer
already. Thanks to the support from Ashok Leyland”, says Farzana. For
this studious child, Maths and Social Science have been her favourite
subjects and her father who works at a Salt Company in Chennai for
daily wages, wants his daughter to study well and pursue her dream of
becoming an IAS officer.
At an event held in the Government High School Manali New Town on
20th November, Dr.Saravanan, CTO of Ashok Leyland presented the
scholarships and bicycles for over 30 students in the presence
Mr.Selvaganesan, Headmaster High School and Ms. Irudhayamani,
Headmistress Primary School.
The Ashok Leyland scholarship is an encouragement to the parents to
continue sending their girls to school and ensure completion of
scholastic education, while the bicycle would help the girls commute
conveniently and confidently from home to school and back. This scheme
will soon be extended to the Road to School program schools in Hosur
and Namakkal as well.