Although access to education has improved overall in West Bengal, systemic problems remain, which have a detrimental effect on the ability of children to pursue an education. Some children face not just one, but a number of these obstacles in the way of pursuing even the most basic level of education. RISE works with children most at risk of dropping out of school, in a challenging rural area where there are few other organisations providing the same services.
Sujon Sarkar is a 14-year-old boy living in Krishnagar, West Bengal. His ambition is to be a business man and he loves to play cricket. He has been attending our RISE programme since 2012 with 97% attendance. When we met Sujon, he had lost interest in school, having no motivation for learning as he saw supporting his family as more pressing. He lives in a small bamboo structure with no toilet and no running water. Every monsoon season, Sujon’s home is damaged by the floods and their family have to build a new structure. Sujon and his fellow students often don't break out of the cycle of poverty. Their hopes and aspirations are often squashed by the necessity of survival.
They work the fields, some marry at 11 or 12 and education is no longer an option.
At RISE we believe education is power to change and grow. So we fight for their right for education every day while providing the support needed to the family to make this happen.