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Riding to school with confidence

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 support siblings.

 “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.

 

 

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