8th June 2016, Gurgaon, A goal might seem too far-fetched until it is achieved. The 14-year-old daughter of a security guard in Gurgaon, Haryana has proved that all it takes is determination and sincere hard work to make the impossible possible.
Apeksha Singh, scholar of DLF Foundation beat the odds and scored 9.8 CGP in class 10 CBSE 2016 examinations. Despite her Hindi medium background till 5th std and lack of even the most basic amenities, she managed to score a perfect 10 CGPA in four out of five subjects including Science, Mathematics, English and Hindi and 9 CGPA in Social Science. Though life for this young girl has never been a cake walk, Apeksha has set an example for all others of her age and similar background.
Apeksha aspires to be a surgeon and for the same, she has opted for Science stream in class 11. Since tuitions are unaffordable, she takes notes and revises them at home. Her mother, a house wife, has always been very supportive while her father, who earns Rs.8, 500 a month to sustain the family of five, doesn’t approve of any of his three daughters because he wanted a male child.
Apeksha, being the eldest, understands her responsibility towards her younger siblings and wishes to help both of them in their education. Despite her father’s disapproval, she wants to ensure a secure future for her parents. She was earlier studying Savitri Vidya Mandir, a Hindi medium school in Gurgaon but was later awarded a scholarship, by DLF Foundation and shifted her to the English medium Drona Public School from class 6. She is currently studying under DLF Foundation’s initiative ‘Talent Nurturing Program’ and DLF Foundation will look after her education till the class 12th and also help her in higher studies. All her schooling expense including school fee, transportation, books, school dress etc is taken care by DLF Foundation in addition she gets Rs 1500 per month as a pocket money to incur other expenses. Though the initial years were difficult for Apeksha to adjust in an English medium school but DLF Foundation helped her with extra coaching classes for English so that she is able to cope with the studies. Apeksha went through regular counseling and personality development programs conducted by DLF Foundation which helped her to be more confident and expressive.
“It was difficult to shift from a Hindi medium school to an English medium one. I was nervous in the beginning but my mother has taught me to never doubt my abilities. Soon, I picked up the language and started speaking in English with my classmates. Also, I did not even have the basic facilities to study. However DLF Foundation helped me and supported. I was determined to get good scores in class 10 and it happened. I used to study only three hours a day and take extra classes for mathematics”, Apeksha said.
“I do not want my father to think that having a son would have helped him have a safe future. I will study and ensure that my sisters study too. Together we will build a new and bigger home and fulfill all the dreams of our father,” she said.
“Children like Apeksha are examples that our country has immense talented children who want to achieve something in life but are unable to do so because of the financial and other reasons. Under our Talent Nurturing Program we pick up children like Apeksha from government schools who are bright and have the potential in them to be successful if given a chance. We identify and handhold such children from 6th std and support them till the time they have passed their class 12th and further help them to pursue their higher studies. Our main aim is to make these children from the underprivileged background at par with other children when they pass their class 12th.” – Mr. PK Joseph, Director, Talent Nurturing Program, DLF Foundation.
Adopting a unique methodology, the programme initiated by DLF Foundation conducts an exam for the students entering class 6. Poor talented children from rural and urban villages who manage to qualify the test are picked up and transferred to good private English medium schools and groomed to become leaders of tomorrow in various professions. A whole range of support is provided to these scholars in the form of scholarships, pocket money for daily expenses, counseling, career guidance, soft-skills training, mentoring support and also parent motivation sessions. It follows right through from their entry at Class 6 till they succeed in a selected professional career. After charting out an individualized scholar development plan, educators, career experts, professional social workers, counselors, company employees and youth workers channelize their knowledge, skills and networks to foster the talents of these intelligent kids. Till date DLF Foundation has supported 1143 children and has helped them to rise above their difficulties and pursue their studies.
DLF Foundation upholds the belief that it is necessary to complement and supplement the efforts of the state if we are to bring about a qualitative change in the lives of the people. Children like Apeksha, who are blessed with great potential but lack opportunities, are provided a platform to learn, grow and excel in their desired fields following the same belief every year.