Like every other woman, Sonia Goyal also has a hobby. She loves teaching and she made sure not to give upon it regardless of any extreme conditions she had to surpass. Being a Computer Engineer, she taught in IIT and has been a computer programmer. But life brings it’s own share of problems in everyone’s life and likewise, Sonia had to quit her job for some personal grounds.
In order to fill the empty space created, she began coaching kids at home and one day her maid’s son came over and said, “ I love studying, will you teach me?” She understood that the boy was genuine and had no money to study…she began teaching him! Post his tenth, she also helped him pursue polytechnic studies. Since then, there is no looking backward for Sonia Goyal.
Everyday, she teaches street kids, who are eligible but taken back with situations, mostly poverty! Ms. Goyal personally teaches them with no financial profit, she has also arranged government admissions for many who had never seen schools before! She is also responsible for 12-15 little girl’s transformation from child laborers to school kids. According to her, happiness is, “when she saw her chowkidar son taking up a job at ONGC, whom once she had taught.”
While teaching them the basic subjects, she also noticed that these kids didn’t have enough food to eat and since then she celebrated her children’s birthday with them – sharing eatables with every kid living in the Juggi slums, door to door! Not just that, apart from her daughter’s birthdays, she also celebrated her husband’s and her birthdays and anniversaries with these kids. To share special joy on those days – she distributes food, stationery, books, bags anything which were the basic requirement of a child’s growth.
She recalls, “Five years ago, I taught these kids at my home, then began in parks but faced many problems. Few kids came late, so had to sit till evening which had forced us to study in dark. We bought emergency lights, mats etc. But today, we have one small room, no fan but one bulb where I manage to teach these poor kids.”
“I personally visit the child laborer’s parents, requesting them to send their children to schools.”
Ms. Goyal has rescued more than 100 children from child labor and has convinced their parents to send them to government schools. She had to do all these without any organisation, no donations and just her will. And it wasn’t easy for her! There were people who mocked her, said it was a time waste, a stunt!
“When I was advised to start an organisation – to make it convenient for donations and where I can document all my work, I began knocking the government official doors. And here is the experience: As a woman, I released that I am not well updated on office procedure to go and get my organisation set up. One office executive was very cheap, When I asked, can I meet the respective authority? He said, “Are ha madamji, Aapko milne se bhala kaun mana karega? Boliye?”
“People also ask, How will we be benefited in return of paying the donations? We get no government help.”
Upon asked the expense management, she said that she does not believe in temple offerings, but believes in children’s smiles. Whatever charity her husband wishes to do at temples, she requested him to divert the same to her work for children’s welfare. Moreover, a religious Jagran costs around 50k for time, she utilized that money in the welfare of these poor kids.
“Through Women planet, I request women not to keep kids as their laborers, please send them to schools.”
Ms. Goyal has support from her family and parents, who keep her confidence leveled up to do social work for the happiness of poor and little children. We wish her all the best for her new beginning with ‘Saral, her organisation. Let’s make someone smile by sharing knowledge, food and basics. Thank you Soniaji for being the inspiration for thousands of women!