Malati and Mongoli | 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 Malati, mom of St. Xavier’s Gurap students Nandini (grade 8) and Arjun (grade 9). Malati’s dreams lie with her children’s. Here is her story.

Malati never felt that she could dream of a life bigger than taking care of her home and her children. Still, she wants to do a good job as a mom, and part of that is encouraging her children to become something big!

She wants her children to be able to believe in themselves and go after their dreams. Her hopes and dreams are for her children to have many more opportunities, opportunities she never had, and at St. Xavier’s they have received a lot already. Her daughter Nandini wants to be a doctor—Malati is beaming as she announces this! 

 

 

We spoke to Mongoli, mom of St. Xavier’s Gurap students Sanya and Kornali (grade 9), and Raj (grade 2). Mongoli knows what it takes to lift up her village. Here is her story.

Mongoli is a widow. Her husband died during the Covid lockdown and she thought that her daughters would not be able to return to school. However, thanks to Tribe Rising scholarships and the generous teachers of the teacher service organization at St Xavier’s Burdwan (Fr. Maria Joseph’s school) who sponsor orphaned children in Gurap, her children were promised places to stay in Gurap. She is very grateful for this support for her children’s education and future.

Mongoli lives well in her village, and takes comfort that they live as a community in which everyone takes care of one another. Still, she feels a little alone and acknowledges the burden of not having many prospects in the underdeveloped village. But she believes that schooling and education will help the Santal people develop more ambition to find a place in the larger Indian culture. They need to come out of the village to grow.

Here at St Xavier’s, the children are learning so many things, including how to fulfill their ambitions outside of the village. She wants them to become “big people”—an expression commonly used to describe children growing into people who can take care of themselves and have a place in the larger society. They will take the village out into the world!

 

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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