My name is Rahel Pawar. I was born and brought up by my mother in a slum called Rokdobawadi, in Nasik. As a child I was very sickly. I suffered from Asthma and Tuberculosis. Due to which I was always in and out of the hospital and frequently surrounded by nurses and doctors. But looking at Doctors, instead of being afraid, I was inspired. I too wanted to be a Doctor and serve people. And thereafter it became my dream and vision.
Soon with the help of Uncle Edgar and his team, because of their prayers and support, I was healed of my sickness. They managed to enroll me in an English Medium School. I also went for tuitions to Anugrah Classes, because of which I could understand English better than the others in the slum. In the 5th grade I shifted to a Semi English School. My dream of becoming a Doctor never left me. But whenever I asked my School teachers about the process of becoming a doctor, they would always overwhelm me by telling me the amount of difficulties I had in my path to becoming one. I would get discouraged and once I almost gave up on my dream. But Christina encouraged me and told me to work hard. So I decided not to give up and I worked hard.
But studying in my house or anywhere in the slum is very very difficult. There is a lot of noise and many distractions. My house is very small. It didn’t have electricity, a toilet or even proper water supply. In the summer the heat was just unbearable and the commotion in my house prevented me from concentrating. My mother was the only earning member who had to provide for me and my younger sister and brother. Hence it wasn’t possible for us to shift somewhere else because of our poverty. But if it wasn’t for Anugrah Centre it would have been impossible for me or any other child in my slum to study.
Anugrah Centre was built for us to have a place to escape from all the disturbance and enter a completely different environment. Though it is situated in the middle of the slum, Anugrah Centre is very peaceful. There is electricity and a battery backup in case the electricity goes off. And we have all the facilities required for us to relax and concentrate on studies. From the time Anugrah Center was built, I have spent most of my time there, whenever I needed to study or escape from the commotion in my house.
With lots of encouragement, I studied diligently all through school. The teachers in Anugrah Classes helped me a lot and by the grace of God, I secured 84% in my 10th-grade board exam. It was a great and impossible achievement for a girl who lives in the slum to achieve such a high percentage. My marks helped me to get into a Science College. I passed my 11th grade and now I’m in the 12th grade studying for my board exam and also for the State and National Medical entrance tests. I enjoy Biology but other subjects are a little difficult for me to grasp. Though it’s difficult I am trusting in God and I am trying my best. I continue to study every day in Anugrah Centre and I’m truly grateful for this place.