- Where there is a will, there is a way. And a prime example of this is a boy from Tamil Nadu named Sakthi
- Belonging to the nomadic Narikuruvar community of the Tiruvannamalai area has inspired 20 tribal families to send their children to school
- He has been nominated for this year's International Children's Peace Prize
Where there is a will, there is a way. And a prime example of this is a boy from Tamil Nadu named Sakthi.
Belonging to the nomadic Narikuruvar community of the Tiruvannamalai area has inspired 20 tribal families to send their children to school.
Sakthi, once a school dropout, has been nominated for this year's International Children's Peace Prize, an award previously won by Nobel laureate Malala Yousifzai, reported the Times of India. In fact, he is the youngest nominee this year.
However, Sakthi had to go through a very bad time before he could succeed.
In his initial school days, he faced discrimination at the hands of his teachers and other students.
The young boy decided to discontinue his education. In his quest to support his family, Sakhti resorted to begging and selling beads.
An NGO called 'Hand-in-Hand' identified Sakhti's community in the state as marginalised and approached its members to send their children to training sessions. The idea was to include dropouts in mainstream education.
But it was not an easy task as only a few families agreed to their request.
Sakthi found it difficult to blend in at the training centre.
"I was playing with the boys when my uncle came and made me join the Bharathiyar school," explains Sakthi. "There were four of us. We used to keep crying and wondering why we were forced to go there," the Times of India quoted him saying.
This centre was near his tribe's settlement, but soon he had to be shifted to a Residential Special Training Centre (RSTC) in Poongavanam.
After joining the training centre Sakthi learnt how to keep himself and his surroundings clean. No more tattered clothes and looking dirty. He practiced what he was taught at the centre in his home too.
"Sakthi not only transformed his life, but he also brought great change in his community. That is why we decided to nominate him for the International Peace Prize for Children for the year 2017. He is the youngest amongst all 169 nominees for the award," said Dr Kalpana Shankar, the NGO's co-founder to the Times of India.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:33 PM