In the 14th century, Ravidas was one of the first gurus to stand up for equal rights for all people regardless of caste. Seven centuries later, those who follow his message, the Ravidas community, those still called “untouchables”, are one of the most vulnerable ethnic minorities in Bangladesh.
Here, in Tangail, in the central part of the country, half of the population can’t read or write. Ravidas children are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. Despite the efforts from the government and from the NGOs to rescue them from child labour exploitation like processing of animal skin or shoe making, too many Ravidas children don’t have the chance to go to school.
In 2011, Terre des Hommes Netherlands supported the establishment of SSS-Poura Ideal High School in Tangail where hundred of children like Nuri can study. This project provides much more than formal education. Here, Nuri gets health care, perform sport activities, receive psycho-social counseling, get books, and school uniform and materials. This school does not just enroll children but provides quality education.
After completing primary education, Nuri, who is 14 years old now, has fresh started High School. “I’m confident I can continue my studies here. I want to be a Doctor. Now, I’ve got all I need at my doorstep”. Nuri’s mother goes further, “is a dream come true”.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands and its partners have been continuously supporting Nuri since 2011 from teaching her personal hygiene habits, civic values or language skills to a much more complex services like medical support or training support. Nuri calls this “good affection from teachers”.
Nuri will continue studying with Terre des Hommes Netherlands and its partners to pursue her dream to become a Doctor. We don’t know if she will do so, but we will continue supporting her and thousand of children in Bangladesh because they have the right to have a better childhood.