My name is Sunita Orang, daughter of Mr. Sonicharha Orang and Mrs. Atowari Orang of Majorholla village in Sonitpur district of Assam. I want to share some important incidents in my life. I belonged to a very poor family and our financial condition is very weak. The family sustains on daily wage work. We struggled a lot while growing up. I started schooling at the age of five. My parents are illiterate and know nothing about education. Still they told me to go to school. My brothers used to go to school and along with them I was inspired to go to school. That’s how I passed from class I to class III. While in class IV, one person met my parents and said ‘ you are struggling a lot and sustaining on daily wage. If you permit, one person in Guwahati is looking for a housemaid. So if you agree, I can take your daughter and keep with them. This way you will get some money and you can reduce your hardship’. My parents were convinced with him and sent me to Guwahati. I started working and used to clean utensils, wash clothes and also prepare tiffin for their school going kids. Sometime I would drop the kids to catch their bus to school and bring them back home once they return. My mind would travel with them to the school and I dreamt of going to school as well. I worked there for three years. I joined this work at the age of seven. After sometime, I asked my employer lady that I am missing my parents and I want to go to my village and visit my parents. She permitted me to go home and I went home. I remember it was Diwali festival time. I spent few weeks with my friends. I felt like I am liberated from all hurdles and restrictions. I saw my peers going to school in my village. I expressed my desire to go to school to my mother and told her that I don’t want to return to Guwahati. My mother understood my mind and didn’t send me to work in Guwahati and agreed to send me to school.
In this way I started going to school again. After few days in school, one teacher called me to his room and asked various questions related to my study. I could answer very well. Because what I learnt earlier I remembered very well. Teacher was impressed and asked me why I was out of school for such a long time. Then I told him everything. My teacher encouraged me saying that if I study hard I can do better. A school under Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan was there and provided me the opportunity to study. I completed from 4th to 7th standard there. When I reached class VIII, I needed a good dress and a school uniform. I also needed a bag to carry my books, one pair of good quality shoes but my parents could hardly afford those. They could only manage hand to mouth. By that time, I was grown up and much aware. I kept thinking on how could I procure some money to continue my study. I made my mind that if I work as domestic helper or as labourer on wage basis, I can earn some money and procure those materials needed to go to school. So during summer vacation in the month of July, I worked as labourer and saved enough money to continue study for the rest of the year. Like this I completed 8th, 9th and reached 10th standard. I was not aware on how I can study better for the 10th standard matric examination. I was learning everything by myself. Once I went to visit my uncle. My uncle and aunt were inquiring about my study. I said its going on well. Then they suggested me that if I stay with them, my grown up cousins can help and guide me with the lessons and I can score good marks in the matric examination. I thought it is a good idea. I stayed there and passed matric in 2016. I thought of ending my study after that. But when I saw my peers are going to college, I felt motivated. People also kept asking me about my future plans after completion of 10th standard. So I decided to complete studying 11th and 12th standard. I took admission in Sonali Junior College. Admission fee was three thousand three hundred rupees. My wages along with my parents support I could pay this amount.
I started studying hard and work on the weekends and other holidays. This way I managed to pay the monthly fees at the college. Monthly fee was 350 rupees. In two years passed 11th and 12th standard. I wanted to study further. But couldn’t manage because cost is very high for me and my parents cant afford too. I thought whatever I studied so far was beyond our affordability. So I can now stop my education.
After a year, I saw girls from my area going for professional courses. I inquired about it. And then I decided to study again and took admission in Purbanchal Seva Dhatri course and it is a nursing course for 18 months. I took admission in January 2020. I attended class for two months. I liked the course and they teach us how to care for patients and other related matters. With the lockdown my classes are stopped now. For two months I was at home. Now I started working in the paddy fields as daily wager and saving money for future.