AMRIT KAUR

Anganwadi Worker

Nand Ghars, offers a respite from daily chores, in an atmosphere where there is clean running water, electricity to keep the heat at bay and toilets that give an added measure of dignity!

“I am a Rajasthani, pucca! not a sardarni,” says Amrith Kaur, pushing away the space and air in front of her, as if she were distancing herself from the very thought.

Kaur’s father was a business man, running a shop selling all household items. In that sense, she has had a relatively secure life and it is reflected in the fact that she married ‘late’ – in her 20th year. Her husband though remains unwedded to the thought of furthering his education and works as a security guard in a factory having failed the 12th standard.

Not so for Amrith Kaur!

She continued to pursue her higher education after marriage and graduated not only with a BA, but also went on to pursue her B Ed. In 2010, she took on the role of an Anganwadi worker and when Anil Aggarwal, the Chairman and CEO himself came to inaugurate the Anganwadi she works in, she felt proud to be associated with an organisation that not only lays so much emphasis on educating those who cannot afford basic amenities that a Nand Ghar offers, but also the fact that the Nand Ghars, in bold and true colours, scream loudly that education can be a fun process for teachers as well as those learning.

Nand Ghars, Kaur says, offers a respite from her daily chores, in an atmosphere where there is clean running water, electricity to keep the heat at bay and toilets that give an added measure of dignity!

Amrit Kaur is intent on becoming a teacher and is using the money that she earns working as an Anganwadi worker to further this cause. She says only when she has passed the competitive exam for teachers, will she be at peace with herself.

She is one determined lady, travelling more than 20 kilometres every day by bus to her Anganwadi six days a week. For that she gets up at 6 am, ensures that household chores are done, packs lunches for her husband and her 13 year-old son studying in the 8th standard and leaves her 5-year-old son in the care of her mother-in-law who takes him to a local school.

She says she has taken a vow to set aside one hour a day, every day, to study for the competitive exam for teachers. She has told her family members not to disturb her during that hour, on any account. Having made that resolution, she says, has enhanced the quality of her interaction with the children in the Anganwadi, making it more productive, less irritable!

After all, whether she is a sardarni or not, she is still a Kaur – a princess, on par with any man!