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Lavanya Bahuguna


Indra Lohar’s Day 1 in Jaipur

  • IWB Post
  •  June 6, 2015


Indra Lohar, an 18 yr old who belongs to a nomadic tribe of Garia Lohar in Kathumar tehsil in Alwar, is the talk of the town. She is in the news after scoring a whopping 83.22% in Class XII science this year.

By the way, Indra is the one wearing white and red salwar-kameez.

In one of her first interviews with TOI – Jaipur, she opened up about her fear regarding a bright career because of lack of finances. She described living in a roadside shanty along with her parents and four small siblings at Gandhi Circle in Kahtumar tehsil. Her family, after working for 18 hrs a day, earns just about Rs 100. She was noted saying how she concentrated on her studies by sitting under street lights from late night till wee hours of the morning. With secondhand books, limited note-books, one ball-pen and support of her parents, she could make one of her dreams a reality.

Upon reading the story, many people came forward to offer financial help for her higher studies. Even JWB got many messages from readers asking how they could contribute. On Friday (yesterday), the girl along with her family was invited at TOI, Jaipur’s office to meet her kind donors.

Jaipur Women Blog’s team was also present at the venue, showing the support to this brilliant girl. Facing down throughout the session, I realized how shy Indra is on meeting so many new faces. Conversely, she didn’t glitch once when she announced her plan to wholeheartedly prepare for medical entrance exams in Jaipur this year so that next year, she can begin her medicine degree.

I love it how so many people and organizations around Jaipur have come forward to sponsor her studies and expenses in the next coming years. However, there was a little disagreement deciding if the donated money must be given to some NGO or not. Majority believed that individual donors must take care of her expenditure rather than bringing in a mediator. The final decision is yet to be taken.

By the way, what’s your opinion? I support individual donors though.

One thing that was concluded in the meeting was to open a joint account for Indra with 3 people from Jaipur – Anubha Singh (Anubha Creations), Meeta Singh (Chairperson of Dignity of Girl Child Foundation) and Dr. Sudhir Sharma (Co-founder Jaipur Women Blog)

Since most of the communication was done in English, I felt a little bad about the Lohar family who couldn’t catch a word meant for their daughter’s future. The TOI team kept reminding the donors to commute in Hindi but in vain. Amidst all this, I noticed Indra becoming more uncomfortable.

To ease her, few young girls present there started chatting with Indra and her new upcoming life in Jaipur. They even took selfies with her! So sweet.

After the session, I along with Dr. Sudhir Sharma took a moment to speak to the Lohar family. While the father was quite with anxious eyes, the mother opened up and spoke at length of how worried she is with the thought of sending Indra to a big unknown city.

She said: “We’re very simple people. My kids have never stepped outside our area, leave alone staying alone for so many months. I am worried about Indra. Whom she will live with, what kind of friends she will make – I don’t know how she will handle everything. She is a girl, if anything goes wrong, we will be discarded from our community.”

Her worries sensed genuine for a moment, and so, I promised her to act like Indra’s elder sister while she is in Jaipur.

Also Jaipur Women Blog has decided to inform our readers about every little progress happening in Indra’s life after she starts the new journey in the Pink City. For this, we have made a special page for Indra Lohar on our blog with the name ‘Hamari Indra’. Along with many, we too have pledged to take care of her as one of the guardians. We will update you on our next meeting with her.

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