“I am Sadori. I dropped out from class 5. I wanted to study more but my parents are poor. After completing primary education I wanted to go to a high school but my parents did not allow me." These were the words of thirteen year old Sadori, who dropped out after completing grade 5, from a government school in village Dhengo of district Naushahro Feroze.
It was a hot September afternoon when I went to Naushahro Feroze for ASER survey monitoring. Village Dhengo is about 30 KM away from the main city. It was during the household visit, when I came across Sadori and her family. She was very eager to be a part of our assessment and we found her to be brilliant in all three competencies too. Sadori was able to read story, solved division sums, also knew poems by heart and was good at general knowledge.
I couldn’t resist but talking to the girl’s father about letting her study further. I was shocked when he instantly replied “Put, Parhi Chaa kandi! Hin ji shaadi ji umar aahy! Kujh ghar daari sikhi wathy." Her father said that they have no other option apart from getting Sadori married. When asked for the reason, he said “When there is nothing for her in this world, what will she do even after getting educated? We cannot afford her education.
I then started assessing Sadori in front of her father. She was all confident and performed extremely well in English, Sindhi and Arithmetic. Seeing Sadori reading out everything so well, brought tears in the eyes of her father. He then confessed that he wants her daughter to study but it’s the circumstances that do not allow him. Still he promised that atleast he will not get her married at such an early age.
I requested one of our partner organization then, who were conducting the survey in Naushahro Feroze and were running many community school in that village to enroll her without fees. The purpose of ASER was well served!