‘’I want to become a remote sensing specialist’’- Manoj from Tigri slum community
Back in Rajasthan, Manoj’s mother sells charms of lemons and chillies door to door believed to ward off evil eye in Indian culture, after she lost her husband more than a year ago. She can make a meagre amount of 5000-rupees per month that she uses to support herself and her two young boys. Nineteen years old Manoj would have preferred staying with his mother but that would mean travelling 25 km one way every day to go to the nearest college to his village.
Manoj had to choose his education over his mother. He came to Delhi’s slum colony in Tigri, where he shares a small 2-room house with his married sister’s family and his younger brother, just so that he can have a chance of a better life.
During his class 12 examination, Manoj received sample papers and help from Asha Ambassador’s, that helped him score good grades to get into Delhi University’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh college, where he is pursuing Honours in Bachelor of Geography. This college is just a twenty-minute drive by bus from his slum.
In his spare time, Manoj is seen in Asha’s community centre in Tigri teaching dedicatedly to younger kids and paying it forward. Last year, he helped three students from his slum with their college admissions.
Manoj wants to become a remote sensing specialist. ” I want to be able to provide for my mother and brother. I hope I can end the distance between my mother and us. She deserves a life of comfort now’’, says Manoj with a sigh.
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