Urmila , a seven year old IIMPACT student in Orissa is living proof of the fact that even extremely young children can be positively influenced by the actions of their peer group.
Before IIMPACT came into her life Urmila could be seen helping her widowed mother with housework. She had lost her father at the tender age of one. Her mother Gandalu was subsequently forced by their impoverished state to get all her 5 very young children involved in arduous physical labor at a terribly tender age. The children all work in the neighboring stone crushing quarries and help with basic farming activities in order to bring in additional income into their poverty stricken lives.
Despite her difficult life Urmila always harbored a dream of going to school just like some of her numerous village friends. She would watch these young girls with great envy as they happily skipped to their local IIMPACT learning centre, always keen to get to there on time. These girls were learning exciting new things every day at the centre and yet continued to contribute to their family’s income by working after school hours.
Young Urmila, brimming with the desire to escape from the mundane life she was leading, finally took it upon herself to visit the IIMPACT centre and personally meet with the teacher in order to explore the possibility of being part of the IIMPACT program; the determined young girl did not involve her family in this process. Having independently decided on what she wanted to do Urmila then gradually worked on her mother, finally convincing her mother of the importance of education in the lives of young girls.
IIMPACT very soon became an integral part of her life and of that of her entire family. The family now takes a lot of interest in Urmila’s academic progress. Much to her mother’s amazement the diligent Urmila recently declared that she would like to become a teacher one day in order to enable many more girls to gain from the benefits of education. She may very well be a valuable IIMPACT teacher one day!