Anshu is a very bright young adolescent girl who began coming to Protsahan in 2010. By early 2013, she had learnt Kalamkari (an ancient Indian traditional art form) and has beautifully picked up the Warli and Madhubani art forms. She comes from a family where her father is a rag picker and her mother works in an iron factory. One of five children (3 sisters and 2 brothers), she also takes care of domestic work at home and cooks food for everyone. She is closer to her father and listens to him more. She loves her community teacher at Protsahan a lot and shares her stories with her.
She likes drawing and loves eating mangoes. Initially when she was enrolled here at Protsahan, she would stay quiet and not talk to the other teachers and children. Gradually she started opening up through Warli and Madhubani design sessions and now all of the girls are her friends. She loves playing ludo and wants to become a famous Kalamkari artist. After the 10 month bridge course at Protsahan, she was admitted to a nearby government school. She is brilliant in studies and recently scored 92% in her school this year.
Anju and Khusboo are two sisters, bright and very creative students at Protsahan. They have 2 other sisters and 2 brothers. Their father is a rickshaw puller and their mother is a homemaker. Anju loves constructing Madhubani designs that she has learnt at Protsahan, making Warli cards and playing games like carom and badminton. She scored 95% in her class and is very sincere. She cooks food with her mother and loves coming to Protsahan. Khushboo also loves painting and playing badminton, she enjoys studying too. She is a bright student and scored 86% in her class with first position.
Both the sisters are astounding Madhubani artists. Madhubani is a traditional art form from Bihar. Their mother is a major source of motivation for their studies and dreams that they want to pursue. Like other children they also took time to open up and get along with other young girls. Anju is very chirpy and wants to become a doctor whereas Khusboo is a very calm and shy child and wants to become a teacher.
Sonam is a budding poet who is very fun loving yet very talented. She jovially pesters her friends a lot and can’t stop giggling when her friends are around. She has 5 siblings, 4 brothers and 1 sister. She has a mother who is very close to her. She is in 7th standard and enjoys studying. Her favourite sport is skipping rope.
Her best friends are Anshu, Sudha and Kiran, all other fellow mates at Protsahan. Like her best friend Anshu she too loves eating mangoes. She loves writing poems and slogans. She also loves quilling, an art form that she learnt at Protsahan. She loves visual poetry that she has learnt with us. She wants to become a teacher when she grows up.
Jitender is a very sharp boy with great grasping power, but while he is under the influence of drugs he becomes violent and gets physically abusive with people. A school drop out after fourth standard, he still loves solving math problems as we found out during our sessions with him.
Jitender is an extremely fun loving child who would use rag picking and whatever he could to earn money, money that he used to buy drugs. His mother is a domestic helper and is very cooperative with us, always motivating him to study. Jitender’s father is a rickshaw puller who is also an extreme alcoholic who has not had much of a role to play in Jitender’s life. He has one younger sister, 2 younger brothers and 1 elder brother. He would mostly stay out and away from his family. Due to the heavy intake of drugs he had a lot of skin allergies visible on his face. When he was found by Protsahan and given an art and therapeutic intervention, he started getting back to a normal life after about a year of intervention. He stopped the intake of drugs and wandering in and around the streets. Today he is living a healthy and a normal life with his elder brother who is trying to teach him skills training in his village.
Suraj had been completely into drugs since 2009. As he got exposed to drugs he started living alone around PVR Vikaspuri premises as a street child, despite having a family. He is a school dropout and has been to school till 3rd standard. Whenever he was high on solvent abuse (white thinner fluid) he became extremely violent and got into unwanted activities such as stealing and fighting with local shopkeepers or passersby.
Whenever Suraj was off drugs he was calm and quiet, grasped things easily and was generally a very sharp boy, as we came to observe. He was shy and did not open up easily. His father was an alcoholic and had offered him a drink once and that was the first time he tasted liquor, as he mentions. His mother consumes tobacco and is a domestic helper. He has 3 siblings, all elder to him. Due to the regular intake of alcohol and other drugs he started showing drug induced behavior and addiction. Since the time he became a part of Protsahan things started changing in his life. Constant intervention by Sonal herself along with art-based therapy started affecting him positively. Though it was difficult for him to get off dugs initially and all of a sudden, through regular counseling and Protsahan's Art Based approaches he started becoming normal and adapting to the healthy environment with the other normal kids. Today he is off drugs and helps his paternal uncle in a small family shop. He is about 16 years old now.
The little bundle of joy, Aanchal is the naughtiest of the lot at Protsahan. And it’s not hard to figure out when she has a mischief on her mind. Her smiles gives it away.
The Happy Face of Protsahan, Aanchal loves studies and also loves irritating her teachers. She loves English and wants to become an English teacher when she grows up. Aanchal has been in Protsahan for the last 6 months and is loving it. She enjoys painting and has picked up Warli in hardly any span of time. Aanchal is an active participant of the workshops conducted at Protsahan and wishes for the film making workshop to happen regularly.
A little lost in the beginning, Aanchal started painting Warli and used painting as a medium to express her thoughts. Her paintings are a reflection of her frame of mind and her colors are the hue of her mood. She has often dreamt of going to the mountains and wet her feet in the rivers passing by. In many of her paintings, she tries to capture the snow covered peaks. Since the time Aanchal has been painting and doing other workshops at Protsahan, she has become calmer, confident, with an improved sense of communication. She now gathers her thoughts and then frames a sentence to speak. The film making workshop helped Aanchal organize her thoughts, contribute in the script, follow a thought flow and understand what emotion is to be captured. No one knows this as yet, but Aanchal really loves to eat Hingoli and Satmola. She always carries a packet in her pocket. We all know what to give her on her next birthday. We really hope Aanchal discovers her true self without losing her charm and aura.
Fatima stands true to her name, captivating, charming. When you walk into Protsahan, it is usually hard to ignore Fatima all chirpy and vibrant. Fatima spreads across energy that cheers up everyone.
14 year old Fatima tries to come to Protsahan everyday despite going to school, working at a house nearby, working at her own house and taking her of her siblings. Though usually late in class, Fatima does manage to catch up in her studies. Due to financial situations, her family can’t afford proper meals for the kids. Hence, once in a while, Fatima ends up nibbling the class chalk. Unlike other students at Protsahan, Fatima does not like drawing or painting as much and has never been forced to pursue the same either. English is her favorite subject and she has an inclination towards photography and film making. Fatima is Protsahan’s dancer and she regularly requests the teachers at Protsahan to put on some music as she can’t do that home. To welcome a delegate of Australian Embassy Judges at Protsahan, Fatima prepared a dance performance and taught the same to all our girls. Her favourite dance form is kathak and insists Protsahan organizes for kathak classes.
Fatima believes in her little dreams and gives in her best to fulfill them. The belief is so big, failure does not exist for her. She once met a lawyer and since that day, dreams to become one herself. But the big question that her friends at Protsahan always ask her still remains unanswered, “Fatima didi ko gussa kyun aata hai? (why does Fatima get angry)”.
Some plants grow themselves and some need to be nurtured. Manisha has to be nurtured. Manisha was a slow learner and does not act like the other children. Termed as ‘pagal’ by her peers in the village, Manisha used to stand for hours in line to fill buckets of water and everyone pushed her away, giggled and laughed at her.
But like the Japanese flower Wisteria, Manisha took a long time to grow, but when she blossomed, she filled her surroundings with beauty. Manisha has been in Protsahan for 3 years now. Initially, she was an introvert, afraid to express herself and could barely understand what was happening in the class. With the help of the teachers at Protsahan, she started focusing on her studies. Her new friends at Protsahan helped her participate in all the workshops held at Protsahan and she started feeling a sense of belonging. Manisha started to open up to the other girls. She was losing her fear of rejection and participated in the activities around. Manisha is 13 yrs old and has 2 little sisters whom she loves. Manisha loves painting and many of her paintings capture the images of women walking with buckets of water and women plucking flowers, some memories of her past.
Weekends for Manisha is her sleep time when she likes to laze around all day. She loves playing Kho-Kho. She wants to become a doctor and cure one of her friend’s affected leg.We wish she becomes a doctor one day and proves that disability cannot kill your spirits. At Protsahan, Manisha now feels a sense of belonging. Protsahan is her window to express her thoughts and emotions. We wish she becomes a doctor one day and proves that disability cannot kill your spirits.
“Iske gaalon me to tube light hai. Dekho kaise chamakte hai jab vo jasti hai” (Her cheeks have tube light in them. See how they light up whenever she laughs). Soni’s friends get excited when asked what do they love about Soni. They say she always laughs and there is never a dull moment in her life.
Soni lives with her parents, 2 brothers and a sister in Delhi. She has been studying at Protsahan for 3 years and says she eagerly waits for afternoon to come to Protsahan. Drawing being her area of interest, she makes beautiful Madhubani and Warli paintings and also teaches her peers. Soni loves making paper mache. With the bridge course at Protsahan, Soni is now one of the smartest girls in her school and scored 84% in her annual exams last year.
With great joy comes trouble, Soni’s brother does not allow her to come to Protsahan and wishes to marry her off at an early age. But Soni, the strong willed, often explains to him how Protsahan has helped her develop as a person and she aims to achieve a lot in her life. With great difficulties, Soni comes to Protsahan everyday and makes the most of her time here. Soni dreams of becoming a teacher and teach her kids with love and care. She does not believe in scolding or hitting the kids as she understands that it’s better to set an example for the kids that they look upto than to force them. Her most memorable moments at Protsahan were her picnic outings with her Protsahan friends. Soni, the curious child loves going to new places and trying new things. Her happiest moment was when she featured in a photograph in the newspaper with Sachin Tendulkar. We hope Soni spreads her light wherever she goes and becomes the compassionate teacher.
“The girl whose eyes twinkle like a star in the night sky every time she smiled. That’s how she was spotted by Protsahan from her village. And the delicious mix of naughtiness and curiosity won over our hearts.Kiran joined Protsahan 3 years ago when she was struggling to understand the world around her. Education did not interest her. But her curiosity helped her discover her true self. Kiran loves experimenting and does it with all her heart. One of the brightest students at Protsahan, Kiran enjoys painting and is very good with spoken and written english. During Protsahan’s workshops, Kiran exhibited her panache for street plays and film making. At a film making workshop to Stop Open Defecation, scripting and shooting the film really caught her fancy, and has motivated her to pursue this further.
Kiran has her unique way of expressing emotions through art and a lot of her paintings reflect her observations of the day-to-day world. For example, a picture in the text book, a scene from the road while walking back from school or a poster of a film becomes the inspiration of her next paper mache art. After 3 years at Protsahan, Kiran now confidently stands and gives interviews to news channels.
At Protsahan, we give our kids the freedom to observe and discuss issues with teachers and fellows. We treat no topics as taboos and no topics are swept under the rug. Kiran is one of the happiest students at Protsahan and we wish to support her wherever her instincts take her.