“He who sings frightens away his ills.” – Miguel De Cervantes
This wise old saying may not mean much to us, but it most certainly resonates with Gayatri, a beneficiary of Light of Life Trust India, who made it her life’s motto to sing her worries away. Gayatri is derived from a Sanskrit word and literally translates to ‘a singer’. It is no surprise then that she was born with the gift of music, and only discovered it much later.
Gayatri’s story is one of transformation, from being reticent to now being resolute to succeed! Her father, a compounder, and her mother, a house-help, found it increasingly difficult to raise Gayatri and her younger brother on a meagre monthly income of Rs. 3000/-. The tribulations led to her father succumbing to alcoholism and his squabbles around the neighbourhood, led them to be ostracised from society.
Owing to all the stress around, though Gayatri was bright, she fared poorly at academics and gradually isolated herself from her classmates, as well.
Soon after that, Gayatri was chosen as a beneficiary of our Project Anando, but the task at hand wasn’t easy for our counsellors.
Gayatri had been through so much, that she barely agreed to attend workshops and even when she did, she refused to interact. Following this, Gayatri failed her examinations, but that didn’t deter Project Anando’s team. In fact, we were more determined than ever to bring Gayatri out of her shell.
Gradually, during sessions and workshops, the counsellors noticed that every time there was music being discussed or classes held, there was a certain twinkle in Gayatri’s eyes, which was rare during other classes. The team had finally found her comfort zone and decided to leverage Gayatri’s passion for music, to help her grow.
The team enrolled her into our Anant programme. Initiated in 2008, Anant is a collaborative Arts Education Project between Flowering Tree Inc. and Light of Life Trust, which is a unique programme in song, dance and story-telling.
The kind of liberation music brought to Gayatri’s life, was truly a defining moment! Not only did she agree to get formally trained, she even began participating in stage shows. This gave her a much-needed confidence boost, and helped her study harder, so much so that she went on to clear her State Board Examinations in the very first attempt, after which she took up a simple job at an English-medium school to provide for her family, whatever she could.
After her Class 12 examinations, Gayatri moved to Pune and now works as a team leader in a company. She earns Rs. 8500/- per month, and has taken it upon herself to provide for her brother’s education.
All of this simply goes to show what a big difference, a small step can make.
Gayatri’s first love continues to be music and she credits the Anant programme for bringing out the spark in her. But we beg to differ. We believe that all that was needed was a little push from our end and if we aspire, together, we may not change the world, but can make a world of difference to someone’s life.