WAY TO GO!

Pearl of a person, an NGO head didn’t let the crisis bring her foundation down

With funds dried up, she took up the challenge of earning for a cause

Pearl of a person, an NGO head didn’t let the crisis bring her foundation down

Pearl Jasra has been working online to support her NGO. Vishal Kumar

ASTORIES THAT INSPIRE

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 11

It’s not hard to imagine the travails businesses have been going through to survive in these times of crisis. All have been shaken to the very foundation. Even harder has been the episodes for the NGOs. But great are those who have soaked in the tremors of the lockdown and have kept going on as if nothing happened.

Pearl Jasra, founder and chief functionary of IVE Children, a non-profit that works to provide education to the underprivileged kids, could be termed as a worthy case in point. While finding replacement for resources and funds has not been easy, she has managed to take care of her ‘kids’.

As her name suggests, she indeed is a pearl of a person. Having a few years of experience as an educator, she has taken up freelancing jobs as an online educator. “I have been working for the past three months as a freelance educator, preparing academic schedules and lesson plans for overseas students,” she says. Also, the founder has been part of several online workshops and webinars based on education sector.

Her earnings from the new job ensure that her kids continue with their studies. “We are working with a bare minimum. I have four teachers associated with IVE Children, who are imparting tuitions and classes by visiting these kids. Since the children belong to slum areas, they cannot access online education and so the teachers take up five students in each class and make sure that their studies continue,” Pearl explains work these days.

She started the organisation 12 years ago here and had been depending on voluntary donations to run operations, including free of cost residential-cum-education programme that it offers. But the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown cut off her primary source of funds. “To sustain our education programme post-lockdown has been a challenge. Since the lockdown hit everyone hard economically, funds and donations dried up and so I had to think of other ways to keep the supply of funds going,” she adds.

With time, another challenge had also cropped up. She had to convince the folks of these children to continue with their education. “Parents of most children are labourers. Since the lockdown took their livelihood, they did not want their wards to study. They were hell-bent upon turning them into daily wagers. I had to persuade them to let kids study through evening classes so that it doesn’t hurt their income,” she shares

With no financial back up or aid, Pearl hopes that the efforts pay off. “My job as an online educator also works as a creative simulation for me as I had never explored my potential in this way. And it solves my purpose of supporting education of these kids.”

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