Truly A “Jyoti”
She started her mission in rented shops, though shops didn’t sell any wares but gave life to 200 children of the nearby slum-cluster of East Delhi by infusing awareness into them. She is Jyoti Sarwal, founder of Amba Foundation.
“Amba Foundation traces its modest beginnings to an initiative to educate a handful of eager children in the neighbourhood slum-cluster. Over the years, it has grown into a dynamic multi-dimensional organisation, associated with a large number of welfare projects based on a commitment to socio-economic rights like initiative in teaching of children, spreading awareness on reproductive health, family planning, etc. Some of this work is linked with the reproductive and child health programme of the Government of India,” proudly says Jyoti Sarwal.
Jyoti Sarwal is a simple housewife who brought together many others like her to make her dreams come true. Being a housewife many think of opening a boutique, a parlor, etc, but all this was not the preference for Sarwal. “The thought of starting a foundation came to my mind after shifting to IP Extn. From my balcony I used to watch kids from the slum-cluster loitering around. That’s the time I got the urge to take some initiative to make their life better. And we got our very first fund from an American institution called ASHA,” informs a beaming Sarwal.
Mother of two kids, Sarwal takes out enough time for the foundation. “It is a fine act of balancing; my family has always stood by me like pillars. Every day is a struggle but when I look back, I do not realise how time has passed,” she said. The foundation concentrates more on teaching children as to how to deal with real-life situations. “We give children a well-structured environment and the peace they wouldn’t have at home in the slum. Teaching them basic subjects, but we don’t want to replicate the government service,” says Sarwal.
Being a woman, society-oriented people tried to pull her back but she was already aware of such barriers: “Many a time, I also felt like quitting, not because of the people but due to the work pressure. But the passion of kids to learn, and the foundation being the only window to instill all-round awareness pertaining to life into the children, which the school cannot provide, motivates me to move further and chalks out new strategy,” Sarwal confides.
Now her efforts have started paying off. “Prem Pal, at the age of 13 years, started his journey to life in those rented shops. We supported his primary as well as his graduation and the guy got expertise in mixing colours and now he works with Asian Paints,” informs Sarwal with twinkle eyes.
Sarwal loves to listen sufi music in her spare time, though she is unable to find time nowadays as she is busy in the celebration of commemoration of ten years of Amba Foundation.
By Vaishali Tanwar