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Through the eyes of her sponsor

Nita Raut

A sponsor speaks about the enigmatic girl from Mumbai…

The serious, but cute, little face in a black and white passport size photo in early 1998 was my first encounter with Nita Raut, then a 6-year-old girl in Mumbai. The previous Christmas, I had expressed a wish to become a sponsor through ‘Children of the World Norway’ (CWN) of a girl in India, and there she was. Little did I know then what the years would bring with them and that I, in fact, would still be sponsoring her in 2013. Now, looking at all the reports, letters, drawings and pictures from Children of the World (India) Trust Bombay, (CWB), that I have gathered in a folder over 14 years, it seems quite bewildering. Being part of someone’s life for so many years, seeing the development of a little girl into a young lady now completing her graduation in the Sciences – her Bachelors in Science - B.Sc. - has been truly amazing.

The decision to undertake a sponsorship should be seen in a larger context, which is essential for fully understanding how this story unfolds. I was determined to follow the development of that little sponsored child. I wanted to understand what her life was all about, and that was the beginning of this journey.

Nita, her three sisters and their parents lived in a slum in Nerul in 1998. Nita’s father, Bhanudas, was a truck driver earning Rs.2,000 per month and he was the sole bread earner of the family. The socio-economic conditions of the family were not great and they struggled to make ends meet. Nita’s parents were disappointed that they did not have any sons and they were not so positive about educating their daughters in the beginning. This changed once the family was accepted in the sponsorship programme. Nita says that my first visit in 2006 brought about a change in her parents’ attitude towards their girls and girl child education. I am very happy, if I have contributed to this change, but I would give a lot of credit to the CWB staff for their many efforts in counselling and supporting the Raut family. We have happily witnessed that over the years the economic status of the family has somewhat improved and all of their four daughters are educated.

During the “India Tour” arranged by CWN in 2006, I met a Norwegian woman who gave me food for thought. She told me how she and her husband had supported an Indian boy and paid for his education. That young boy had later become a lawyer. Afterwards I thought that, if at all possible I would try to do something similar myself. I mean, this lady had a point - why stop Sponsorship support at the most critical point when the child turns 18 years old? That is the period when she/he will really need the support to make something of her/his life i.e. the time to get a degree in order to establish themselves professionally - later on in life. Consequently, I strongly encouraged Nita to study further, to explore her potential, to get a good job and in this way move up on the social ladder.

My support has only played a small part in Nita’s life’s journey. It would not have been possible without the committed support of the CWB team and the cooperation received from MGM College for her to pursue her goals. She completed her B.Sc – MIT (Medical Imaging Technology) in July 2014 and I am hugely proud of her. She has also every reason to be proud of herself.

Addendum: Nita worked as an X-ray technician and Sonographer after she completed her skill training. She is married to Samir and has a 3 year old daughter.