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Photo: From Left to Right ; Anita Tamang, Anita’s aunt, Prakriti Nepal from Samaanta Foundation

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today, Stacia Taushcer rightly said this. I am being able to decode the meaning of this radical quote when I got an opportunity to meet Anita. It has been half a decade that I am working everything I can do from my side for the right of children. Working for them has a value in my life. They bring the joy in my life. Their smile has that magical influence on me. I can’t stop smiling when I see them playing. But somewhere, I had the opinion within me; children are so tender; they need a voice of another to be heard. They need someone to speak for them. This conventional mindset got kicked and now will never dare return when after I met Anita.

Anita is a new Fellow of Samaanta Foundation. She is the lucky one among so many recent SLC graduates. Now, she will be getting the opportunity of being guided under the mentorship of Samaanta Foundation. Sorry to use the word ‘lucky’, but more than luck she deserved it. Recently, I got an opportunity to sit in the interview session of some selected fellows and was able to listen all of their stories. Here, when I am sharing Anita’s story, everyone can surely guess, her story stood out.

16 years old Anita so proudly and with confidence shares, “I want to be the watchdog of my country. I want to be a police officer. I have seen people fighting. I have seen people doing crimes. So, I want to change that being a police officer.” Her aim of being a police officer was the first thing that struck my mind. She is not the one who follows the trend. She dreams her own and her dream seems so well on her when she says that with her head held high and with a smile on her face; that smile that hides so much of her grief and sorrow deep inside her.

Few years back, when her mother died, her father not only brought a step mother for her but also a whole lot of sufferings in her life along with her. She would have been most probably tolerated that all if she was only given the chance to go to school. Alas, her dream shattered. With no one there to voice for her, she thought she needed to do it by herself; something for her and fled from her village Nuwakot to Kathmandu, the capital city just with the hope that she would anyhow continue her study. You can imagine how much strength that eighth grader needed to choose such a step which even had no guaranteed positive outcome.

Capital city dwellers have their own problems and the problem is even worse for them who have to grind themselves in this city just to solve the hand to mouth problem. Anita had to go through the same worse when she landed to her Aunt’s house at Kathmandu with her dream. Anita’s aunt, a house maid had her own two daughters and Anita was her added responsibility. So, again going to school remained just a beautiful dream for her. But this dream didn’t let Anita sleep, she was so determined that she also started working as a house maid with her aunt for the survival and after one year of gap, she joined a community school at Lubhu in grade nine.

We can guess how would a person respond when their dream is fulfilled; her happiness had no limits and she never turned back. She stood as a topper in her school, also passing her school leaving certificate with 74%, which is taken as a dream percentage for many community school students. She says, “I want to study hard and be a police officer as I have seen so much crime at Nuwakot and illiteracy is so prevalent there that people don’t understand how they can live together without fighting. So, I will return to my village after I become a police officer and work there.”

While she was sharing all her struggle with a huge strength and boldness within her, her proud teacher Rojee Maharjan had a wide grin on her face. After all, who wouldn’t be proud to be a mentor of such a strong child whom you can clearly see as a rising leader? Rojee shares, “Anita is a very determined girl. She is ready to do whatever it takes to learn anything new. She has hidden talents. The shy girl in the classroom spoke so confidently in front of everyone now and this shows how she can flourish when she gets any opportunities.”

Hearing her, I was not only sure that nothing is going to stop Anita from being a leader but got inspired from her. Paulo’s saying becomes right on Anita’s life; “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Samaanta’s Fellowship is going to be a milestone in her dream. She will be getting two years of scholarship and mentorship as a fellow to continue her academic and career goals. I can’t wait to see confident, bold and beautiful Anita dressed up and ready to serve as a police officer.