For Sulekha and 24 other students, who are the first batch of girls with disability to be a part of the Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya and living a mainstream life, it is a whole new world.
Otherwise shy, Sulekha’s face immediately lights up when her friend Asmita is around. Sharing their bed space in the dorm of the Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya (KGBV) in Tharthari, Bihar, both the girls love each other’s company and have become great friends just three months after meeting for the first time.
For Asmita and 99 girls like her in the Tharthari KGBV in the Nalanda district, there is nothing unusual about having 25 other girls like Sulekha amidst them—going to school together, playing with each other, sharing rooms, and living a fun-filled hostel life.
The Government gives them access to residential facilities and education along with other girls without disability; and facilitate the necessary equipment, therapy and medical help.
“I do not have any problem interacting with Sulekha,” Asmita, who is in class 8, says as a matter-of-fact.
Twelve-year-old Gulabsa Khatun, who is physically handicapped , stays in another KGBV attached to the Adarsh Mahavidyalaya in Islampur.
But it’s not just about academics and games. Through their daily chores in the KGBVs, the girls learn to be self-reliant and gain confidence to dream big.