Gungun Aspires Become an English Teacher and Spread Knowledge

Gungun Aspires Become an English Teacher and Spread Knowledge

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  • January, 1 1970
  • 2 minutes read
Gungun Aspires Become an English Teacher and Spread Knowledge

Located in the central part of Gadarpur, Uttarakhand, the Government Public School (G.P.S) exhibited a sense of creativity and a knack for art among its students. The walls were painted by students with different pictures using vibrant colours contrasting the yellow-coloured facade of the school. Each picture depicted a story or sent out a loud and clear message with quirky slogans. The bright school campus was filled with students dressed in dark blue coloured tracksuits with blue shirts or green t-shirts inside. The suit was warm enough to combat the lower temperatures in the mountains and equally breathable to avoid perspiration. 

As the school progressed, a girl kept going to and fro between class and the principal’s office. Her hair was neatly braided into a single pony; she wore a small yet distinctive nose pin and a red bindi on her forehead, which complimented her fair complexion. This girl was Gungun Kashyap, a 10-year-old student studying in the 5th grade of G.P.S Gadarpur. Gungun was frantically running around the corridor with multiple books and props in her hand. The school was setting up their freshly painted library room before the on-set of examinations. And Gungun was tasked with collecting the books the students borrowed. 

Gungun has a passion for learning English. It is not just a hobby but a potential career path as well. She aspires to become an English teacher, driven by a desire to share knowledge with those without access to education. Despite her young age, Gungun's dedication to her goals is unwavering, a testament to her remarkable resilience in her family's daily financial struggles. 
She says, “I live 30 minutes away from the school with my parents and four siblings. My father, Satyaprakash, used to work as a vegetable hawker. But a couple of years ago, he met with an accident. Because of that, his left side is paralysed, and he is bedridden. My mother, Rekha, works as a maid in nearby homes. We are five siblings in total. Of these, four are sisters, and our brother is the youngest. He is studying at the 3rd standard in the same school. The eldest sister works as a maid to support my mother financially. The other two older sisters are twins and study in 6th standard.” 

The family of seven members struggle to make ends meet. But Gungun, aware of the situation, tries her best to reduce her mother and sister’s work burden. After a brief pause, she continues, “Both my mother and sister leave for work around 9 in the morning and return by 5 in the evening. After school hours, I go home and finish the pending household chores. Apart from that, I start the preparations for the dinner. Once my mother and sister return, I play for half an hour. After that, I have my dinner and sit down to study. I sleep by ten and wake up by 6 in the morning.”
Gungun tries her best to stay committed to her goals and keep her sincerity towards them intact. But on days, she breaks away from her monotonous routine by watching movies. She comments, “In my free time, I like watching movies, especially South Indian ones. My favourite hero is Thalapathy Vijay, and I have watched all his movies.”

Gungun’s mother and sister leave early in the morning after doing basic chores. But the rush of work and looking after Satyaprakash Ji doesn’t give them an edge in preparing the food for the entire family. So, the four younger siblings either go to school on an empty stomach or over tea. But the family doesn’t need to worry about their lunch. The four siblings are beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal programme, a lifeline that ensures they receive hot, tasty, and nutritious meals every day at school. This program not only fills their stomachs but also fuels their minds, enabling them to concentrate on their studies and paving the way for a brighter future.

Like Gungun and her siblings, a staggering 2.1 million children are beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra’s school feeding program. This initiative aligns with the UN’s sustainability development goals (SDG 2 and 4) - eradicating hunger and providing quality education. It is an effort to implement the PM POSHAN Abhiyaan in government schools. The meals provided by Akshaya Patra not only combat hunger but also enable children to focus on their studies, fostering a brighter future for these young minds. The sheer scale of this program's impact is immense, touching the lives of millions of children and making a significant contribution to their well-being and education

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