Reshma is a new NCEP Scholar this year. At age 14 and entering class 7, Reshma is the second oldest of 4 children. Her mother Asa Devi, and father, Phattu, are very supportive of all their children and work hard to try and give them a better opportunity in life. NCEP has been supporting Reshma’s older sister, Mina since 2008, who has been an excellent student. Their two younger brothers, Isur and Sujan, are outgoing and talented boys; Isur is an aspiring sportsman, and Sujan enjoys drawing.
Reshma and her family have been through a lot this year. Originally from a village in Koilali, both her parents are working hard, but they were still barely able to get by and provide enough food and basic necessities for the family. Then they got an eviction notice. The landlord was looking to tear down the house and everyone living in the building had to move out. The family asked around with all their friends and family, and searched long and hard for a new place to live, but couldn’t find anything they could afford. On the day of eviction, they still had nowhere to go and the children were still in the middle of her exams. NCEP volunteers spoke to the landlord to extend their tenancy so that they could finish her exams. The family has since moved into an unfinished apartment as a temporary home. With no windows, doors, toilet or running water, it is not an ideal, but it gives them time to find a long-term home.
Reshma and her sister will both be switching schools this year to attend the Shanti Nikunja School. This is a public school with a highly supportive staff and strong SLC record, which is a very good indicator of the quality of education. Adapting to a new school and making new friends is always difficult, but we hope the two sisters will be of support to one another, and in addition to our Field Volunteers, we have asked the teachers – who are friends and supporters of NCEP – to keep an eye on them. Since Mina missed a year of school when she was working at a restaurant in Pokhara, the two sisters will be in the same class this year.
By nature, Reshma is not as outgoing or confident as Mina, but soon opens up; the second time NCEP Co-Founders Raju and Sandeep went to visit the family in their new home, she read to them a poem that she had written. Blushing, she then covered up her face in her notebook amidst applause from Raju, Sandeep, and her family.
Top row: Visiting NCEP Co-Founder Sandeep; Middle row, left to right: Reshma’s mother Asa Devi, older sister Mina, and Reshma; Bottom row, left to right: Youngest brother Sujan, younger brother Isur, and cousin Rajendra.