Kabita and Lili’s Story: A Special Bond

Kabita Nayaka, 39, and Lili Patra, 20, were students in the Second Chance program in the village of Rajendrapur. Both were studying to pass their tenth-grade exam, Kabita after an absence from school of over two decades. Despite their age difference, they shared a special bond: Kabita was Lili’s mother.

Then, unexpectedly, Kabita’s husband—Lili’s father—passed away. The two were forced to abandon their studies yet again. Kabita worked extra hours as an ASHA health worker to support the family. Lili took over the duties of housework.

When Abhimanyu, a Pratham organizer, visited them to pay his respects, he found them despondent. But with his encouragement, they decided to re-enroll in the Second Chance program the following year and earn their secondary school diplomas. It wouldn’t be easy, but Pratham had rekindled their determination.

If Kabita couldn’t attend class because of work, Lili taught her at home from her notes. When things became too hard and Lili wanted to give up, her mother’s words gave her strength:

“I’ve lived my life without an education. I want more for you.”

This spring, against many odds, mother and daughter passed their tenth-grade exams. And with Kabita’s support, Lili is now studying for her twelfth-grade exams.