Tina Arvind Gavit is a 13-year-old girl studying in the seventh standard at the Zilla Parishad School of Lahan Kalvan in Nawapur Taluka of Nandurbar district. Adivasis primarily inhabit the village and the surrounding areas. Tina has lived in Lahan Kalwan all of her childhood, from Anganwadi to seventh grade. She is very fond of her school because she feels that the education she has received has tremendously helped her growth and cognitive abilities. Her parents work as labourers in Surat, Gujarat. Given her parents’ struggles for a livelihood, she was aware of the value of education since a very young age.
Tina’s parents work in Surat as daily wage labourers. They have to cover a distance of 200 km daily to make ends meet. Due to Surat’s proximity to Nandurbar, the area sees frequent and large scale migration to Surat for employment opportunities. When Tina would attend school, her parents would take her little sister along with them to their place of work, which has absolutely no childcare facilities. These experiences have taught Tina the crucial role that education plays in one’s life. Moreover, she is aware of various benefits like the mid-day meal scheme and other programmes implemented by the government that she can access due to her enrollment in school.
Tina’s motivation to go to school even though only a small percentage of girls from tribal populations go to school is truly inspiring. Tina is very disgruntled with her parents for taking her younger sister Twinkle along with them when they go for work. She wants her sister to get an opportunity to study, as well. To ensure that Twinkle also receives the benefits of Anganwadi services, Tina took the help of Priyanka, who worked with an organization called CORO. Together, they convinced Tina’s parents to send her little sister to the Anganwadi.
Initially, her parents did not agree, stating that there would be no one to look after the young girl. However, later on, after consistent persuasion, they decided to entrust the responsibility of both the girls on their grandmother and enrolled Twinkle into the Anganwadi and fulfilled her right to education. This has brought a lot of light and relief into Twinkle’s life. She actively participates in the Anganwadi’s group activities like singing, dancing, art, and games. She happily shares her learnings and experiences at home.
Tina is self-motivated and takes part in elocution, singing, rangoli-making competitions in her school. She also enjoys reading. She ensures that her school uniform is neat and tidy. To create awareness about the benefits of education and knowledge, she, along with her friends, go from house to house speaking to people to persuade them. Through such visits, she motivates young children to go to school. She also shares information about the different social programmes organized by the school with the villagers. She does all this without hindering her own education and studies. It is commendable that she passed the sixth standard with A grade.
Tina aspires to work for the welfare and care of patients ailing from diseases. For this reason, she wants to become a nurse and work in a hospital. Both Tina and Twinkle acknowledge the invaluable role that education and schooling have played in their lives.
Tina hopes that everyone attends school. She stresses that if people don’t go to school, they will not be able to read and write. She uses simple examples to explain the importance of reading and writing. She tells people that if they can’t read and write, they won’t be able to read names of places on buses, names of shops and other important things which will make it difficult for anyone to thrive. Tina’s parents are very proud of the progress their daughters have made due to education. Tina’s message is that everyone must go to school.
Having comprehended the value of education, Tina’s journey towards attaining true knowledge has brightened the lives of her sister and the children of her village.