Utkarsha Sanjay Sandbhore is a Nanhi Kali of class III from the Government Primary School Tinhewadi, Chakan. She is the only child of Sanjay Bhikaji Sandbhore, who is a flower vendor and Vrushali Sanjay Sandbhore who is a domestic worker. They reside in Tinhewadi in Pune District.
Utkarsha’s parents are both specially challenged. Her father is deaf and mute and her mother is partially blind. The fact that her parents are different from other parents made her very uncomfortable, and she was always hesitant to talk about them to her friends or even introduce them to anyone. She was also extremely reserved at home and refused to openly communicate with her parents. This made her extremely lonely and its adverse effects could be noticed in her academic performance which was continuously degrading. The Community Activist and Nanhi Kali Coordinator noticed this and they decided to visit her home and discuss the issue at hand. They provided counselling sessions for Utkarsha so that she would understand and accept her parents for the way they are and give them the respect they deserve instead of being embarrassed of them. The sessions helped her in communicating more openly about her problems and accept her parents the way they are. The Community Activist further asked all the other students in class to refrain from making fun of her parents and be more supportive and accommodating for the sake of Utkarsha.
This intervention proved to be extremely helpful for Utkarsha who has become more active and friendly in class as well as at home. Her academic performance as well as her attendance has increased and she also takes active part in extra-curricular activities organised at the Academic Support Centres. She devotes time for her schoolwork every day after class and also manages to spare some time to help her mother with the household chores.
She now proudly introduces her parents to her friends and does not shy away from talking about her problems. She hopes that some day she will be accomplished enough to be self reliant and financially independent.