Fareed’s mom and dad, a homemaker and rickshaw driver respectively, were determined to provide the best for their son. However, they couldn’t afford the treatment fee required at the hospital.
Thanks to our partnership with Teach for India, the Soondra Foundation provided a $1,500 grant for Fareed’s 3 month hospitalization. The grant allowed Fareed a chance at a full recovery so he could focus on getting back to his education. “Money should not be the criteria which decides the future,” says Fareed’s teacher Sankalp, a current Teach for India fellow.
After his release from the hospital, Fareed took a while to get better. Due to the fear of infection, his classmates weren’t initially allowed to visit him. “I miss my best friend Ahmed,” Fareed told Gayatri in March. His mom made him his favorite foods and due to his parents’ dedicated care as well as the attention of his teachers at Teach for India, he was able to regain his former strength and return to school to tackle all the work he missed.
Now, his teachers say he’s back to his usual self. “He is one of the mischievous boys in the class now,” laughs Sankalp. “But every child should have the right to do that.”
Many 8-year olds go through phases: princesses, dinosaurs, astronauts. In March 2019 when Soondra CEO and founder Gayatri Mathur visited Fareed at his home in a North Mumbai slum, he had full-blown Pokemon mania. He presented her with drawings of Pikachu and showed off his love for math, rattling off his multiplication tables without a hitch. However, Fareed’s enthusiasm had been derailed due to a bout of pneumonia followed by a kidney infection requiring prolonged hospitalization. “His mom told me that he got breathless after walking even five feet,” Gayatri says.
(Names of children have been changed)