When Sudhir was orphaned at age 5, after the sudden death of his mother, his story became like many of the roughly 25 million orphaned children in India. The difference in his story was that while Sudhir’s mother was alive she had enrolled him in one of the first tutoring classes offered by Sahayak Hath in Pune. Thankfully for Sudhir people who cared knew him. So, when his mother died, Suman and EJ put him in a hostel and continued to be a part of his education by helping with the expenses for his schooling.
After he failed 12th grade/standard, instead of leaving him to figure things out on his own, Suman encouraged him to take up a basic computer course. When he successfully completed the course, she asked him, “What do you want to do now?” He replied, “I will help you.” In 2013, as a way to share what he had learned, Sudhir began teaching the computer classes offered daily by Sahayak Hath. He is a patient teacher and his students are learning important computer skills. Suman hopes that sometime soon he will attend YWAM’s Discipleship Training Course.
The facts about Rakesh’s life story are a bit blurry and his exact age is not really known, which is not an uncommon occurrence, happening for many reasons in different Indian communities. Rakesh’s history is vague because he was orphaned at the age of one. Shortly afterwards he was taken in and raised by friends. When Rakesh was about 15 years old, he decided to head out on his own to find a living. Since he never learned to read or write paying jobs were hard to find. At one point he worked in a nuts and bolts factory and another time in an iron rod factory. Sometime in his late teens he ended up doing drugs and other nonsense, while living on the streets. As Rakesh spent nights sleeping under a piece of plastic he thought about committing suicide. One day a local Christian brother found him and took him to the YWAM base for shelter. It was there that Rakesh saw how God’s people care for one another. Soon after that he accepted Jesus into his life. Slowly he learned to read and write and even attended YWAM’s 6-month Discipleship Training Course (DTS). During his 3-month outreach, he met Suman and volunteered at Sahayak Hath. After completing the DTS course, his staff encouraged him to work long term with Sahayak Hath. Rakesh travelled to Pune to work fulltime with Sahayak Hath in June 2013, where he currently serves.
When asked her age Kavitha will most likely shrug and you might get the same response when you ask her what grade/class she attends in school. She looks about 12yrs old and the Sahayak Hath staff estimate that in the tuition classes she is at a 4th grade/class level. But trying to figure out her level of education was not an easy process because at the school she attended there wasn’t much differentiation between grades. Also, with no concept of a structured education, to be in a room with other kids in a more controlled environment, Kavitha was uncomfortable and her lack of interest in studies showed in her bad attitude towards the tuition classes. She would throw her school bag down, avoid eye contact and throw tantrums. Eventually she stopped coming to class.
Then one day she showed up again with no explanation. Slowly the staff saw a change in her attitude and progress in her learning abilities. Also Kavitha soon realized that the Sahayak Hath staff love and care about her. Now she works hard and loves coming to the tuition classes.