Paku & Aroti | Santal Shakti

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In Indian philosophy, "shakti" is a concept describing female strength and empowerment; it is an innate feminine energy running through everyone. This February, we had the honor of interviewing several Santal mothers of St. Xavier’s Gurap students, and as they told stories of old dreams lost and channeled into fierce love and support for their children, it became clear that these women represent the “shakti”, the strength, the beating heart at the center of the Santal community that protect and uplift the next generation.

We spoke to Aroti, mom of St. Xavier’s Gurap student Sangita, grade 9. Aroti knows the importance of a good education for a child’s life. Here is her story.

Aroti always wanted education for her children. Unfortunately, her older children were not able to receive a proper schooling. Her older daughter was married at 18, but her husband left her and now she is living at home. Her son went to government (public) schools through grade 12, but these schools pass the kids even when they are not learning anything. Now, he is married and works in the fields as a day laborer.

Her hopes now lie with Sangita. She sees that Sangita is learning a lot and growing up well. Aroti hopes that Sangita’s education will help her earn a good job—Sangita dreams of being a policewoman!

Next we spoke to Paku, mom of St. Xavier’s Gurap students Payel (grade 9) and Piyali (grade 5). Paku places her daughters above all else. Here is her story.

Paku is very proud of her daughters! She thinks the program and studies at St Xavier’s Gurap are very good; she likes that her daughters can focus on their individual learning and dreams for the future here at school. She even notices that her daughters are growing up confident and are learning to be disciplined in their work and studies.

Paku and her husband, a mason, are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep their daughters in school. No matter what the family situation is now, her hopes and dreams lie in a better future for her daughters. 

They have already seen big changes. They know that if the girls were still at the Talpkhui village, their learning would not be supported well enough. However, here at St Xavier’s Gurap, she sees that they have become focused on their studies, they are learning good habits, and they can and want to learn a lot. 

Paku is happy that her children are here, and that Payel is in the first high school class! She is grateful for Tribe Rising and all that is happening at the school. She can already see that there are many possibilities for a better future!

 

 

SAVE THE DATE

TRIBE RISING INDIA’S 2024 ANNUAL FUNDRAISING GALA
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2024
5:30-8:30 PM
CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB, TIBURON
SEE TICKETS/SPONSORSHIPS/GALA INFORMATION HERE

TO PLEDGE AN EARLY SPONSORSHIP, CONTACT ANNETTE [email protected]

Help us build up our growing student body:
  • Honor someone special by gifting a scholarship in her or his name(s)–a great holiday gift for that someone who has everything! 
  • Donate to our capital campaign or annual fundraiser to help us complete the Gurap K-12 campus.

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