We all frequently pass by children begging, selling flowers, magazines, or picking up trash on the sidewalks, in train stations, at bus stops, etc., and we tend to ignore them.
But scarcely anyone has made an effort to find out what they themselves desire, regardless of whether they are performing that job of their own volition or because their circumstances need it. There are numerous such children whose present and future are determined by these pathways, but courage is said to fly quicker than wings.
By the way, if a child’s abilities are correctly evaluated and he or she is given the right guidance, no one can stop them from doing something different.
Today, we’re going to share with you the tale of a young woman whose light has helped hundreds of children and continues to do so.
Chandni Khan is the name of the petite, under 25-year-old woman before whose bravery even the sky bowed. A year and a half ago, Chandni Khan founded the “Voice of Slum” group.
It is a tale of the horrors of suffering, a future filled with promise and tenacity, and a present full with optimism.
Her birthplace was Mathura
Chandni Khan, a slum dweller herself. Her birthplace was Mathura. She began working alongside her father at a young age, just like other kids from such communities. Since she was five years old, she has travelled from town to town and village to village with her father performing street entertainment such as snake play, magic, dance, and pageants. She worked without stopping.
Similar to this, life was easy because there was enough food to feed two people comfortably. Due to her father’s sudden death, however, time gave her a new form, and her life circumstances changed. As a result, she was left with the obligation of looking after the family.
A 7-year-old girl experienced time in a way that she probably could not have anticipated. However, it is said that nobody works ahead of schedule. That girl began working alongside men and women in order to provide for her family’s basic requirements. As a result, she began earning 30 rupees a day, and occasionally the other workers did not even receive their fair portion.
She had to endure difficult circumstances for her family, but she was not afraid of them. She even started picking up trash. She encountered other issues there as well; occasionally, dogs would follow her and bite her, and she was forced to put up with insults from bystanders. The policeman also forbade the young girl, who was only seven, from going to the market.
An event that has the potential to profoundly affect the mental health of any young child. One day, she had to report to jail after being accused of stealing something she hadn’t done. One of his life’s most horrifying experiences is this.
She then experienced another accident when she boarded a vehicle to travel to Delhi. However, the driver of that vehicle did not need her to sit in any different position while he left the Mandi route in favour of another route. The naive girl, who was unable to comprehend anything when the car driver asked them how much money they wanted, broke into sobs and began bashing the vehicle. Perhaps due to DND being in the area, God took mercy on the child’s innocence and she was spared. When the man saw them, he sprinted past them in the centre of the road.
Chandni then changed her line of work and began selling flowers on the streets and at stop signs. Previously, she waited until 2 o’clock to do so because stores and bars were largely closed at that time and there was no other way to get out. Traditionally, most people bought flowers. In the winter, she used to have the most trouble selling flowers until late at night because her clothing was insufficient to keep her warm. She would occasionally sit next to the wall or in the left gap between two cars in order to avoid the cold.
Chandni didn’t let her confidence waver; she switched jobs once more and began selling grain, which resulted in the majority of her clothes and hands being burned.
By chance, she ran into several NGO volunteers who were tutoring slum kids. began collaborating closely with that group, who instructed Chandni to introduce them to kids who were similar to her. Chandni then started bringing the kids. That group then gave her the chance to pursue her education.
From this point on, Chandni’s life began to change. She started taking part in the group’s events, and now she can finally see some hope in her future. She had discovered her life’s purpose in the context of teaching.
A Turning point in Chandni’s life
Chandni began her basic education after enrolling in an open school and working regularly for a month after joining the NGO. Chandni had no idea how to wield a pencil at the moment. She started school at age 10.
The young girl’s life would change after this, and she would make it her mission to educate street youngsters.
“I took part in as many activities as I could and urged neighbours and even parents to allow their children to study, ” said Chandni.
She kept working for Badhte Kadam, assisting them in the opening of additional educational facilities and connecting more kids with them. She was soon named the District Secretary and eventually elevated to the position of National Secretary.
Additionally, it gave Chandni the chance to work with the 5,000-copy Balaknama newspaper, which is published by and for children living in slums.
The Karmaveer Chakra Award was also given to Chandni Khan for her efforts.
For kids much like her, she has also worked with the nonprofit organisations CRY, Save the Children, PLAN, UNCRC, and NCPCR.
She also shared her opinions through live broadcasts on Radio Mirchi, India Today, and a distinguished Ted Talk in Bengaluru.
She went on to become a motivational speaker and a Ted Talks speaker, using her story to show her optimism for the lives of slum children.
Now that she is 18 years old and has travelled this path while working for the education and advancement of children, there has been a new change in her life as a result of having to quit that organisation. That group solely assists minors under the age of 18 in its work. At the same spot, Zindagi ordered Chandni to stand up once more, but this time, Chandni had gained confidence and her motivation had grown.
She had the impression that she was standing where she had left off after being cut off from the organisation. The same fate that she had left behind and moved far ahead of reappeared in front of her. He was forced to sell maize once more due to this time travel.
As a result, she tended to have a lot of questions, and one day the Birla Company employees noticed her and offered her a position there. With that employment, she could have easily supported herself, but she was unable to settle down due to her restless mind.
Voice of Slum: A new beginning
She organised a group of kids who were all skilled workers and who were like her. After that, she founded Voice of Slum in Noida with her friend Dev Pratap Singh as a nonprofit organisation for slum kids.
This NGO shines light on everyone who is forced by their circumstances to live a life of darkness. It is like a ray of sunlight.
Its main goal is to give slum and street children access to basic services like health care, education, and housing.
As she played on the streets close to settlements, she first began interacting with kids, sparking their interest in education and fostering a sense of independence.
children whose entire existence is spent begging and selling goods like flowers, pens, and toys. those who are unaware of the other positive sides of life. Her entire team, led by Chandni, introduces her to the good.
In the same way that a potter stabilises the tools and toys she creates by cooking them in the fire and then painting them, she is shaping the personalities of these kids using the light of education.
She encourages many additional skills that children naturally possess in addition to education. She receives instruction in self-defence techniques as well as other subjects like dance and music.
Along with this, she works to give older kids job possibilities so they won’t have to scavenge on the streets. A publication by Voice of Slum is named Voice Post.
The fact that this magazine’s journalists and editors are all natives of this community is its most significant feature. These kids attempt to communicate and explain their perspective on our society to the authorities through this magazine. In this journal, they express their thoughts and desires to the public and the government.
Chandni and her crew have so far removed more than 500 kids from slums through Voice of Slum, educated them, and helped them become independent.