Satkurba Village, located in Bihar’s Nawada District, faces significant challenges due to its remote location,daily laborers and women engaged in mica picking from nearby hilly areas. Although the village has a primary school and an anganwadi center, there is a lack of middle and high school facilities. Most households are landless, and many lack the skills needed for employment in the evolving job market. The BJUP team intervention in Satkurba Village focused on addressing mental health issues of children. One significant issue that arose during this intervention was the mental health of children.

A 16-year-old student named Rohan Kumar, who was studying in class 10th at U.M.S. Chitrakoli, played a pivotal role in addressing this concern. Rohan came from a family where his father worked as an unorganized laborer in Kolkata, while his mother was a housewife.

During a monthly child club meeting,Rohan encountered Deepak, a 14-year-old boy studying in class 8th.Deepak’s father, Jitendra Rajwanshi, is engaged in collecting mica scraps.Rohan’s interaction with Deepak revealed that Deepak had been irregular in school for the past six months due to difficulties in understanding the curriculum and shyness in seeking help from teachers. Additionally, he lacked the financial means to afford private tuition.

“It wasn’t just about academics, though. I realized that Deepak needed more than just help with his schoolwork. He needed someone to talk to about his feelings and worries. So, I also took on the role of providing continuous counseling to address his mental health concerns. It was a big responsibility, but I couldn’t see my friend suffer. “Says Rohan

Rohan, moved by Deepak’s plight, offered to help him study at his home. He proposed that they could study together in the evenings while Rohan did his self-study, providing Deepak with assistance in all subjects and general support throughout the day. From March 2023 onwards, Deepak began regularly visiting Rohan’s house for evening study sessions. Word of Rohan and Deepak’s study sessions soon spread in the village, and another boy, Sandip Kumar, expressed a desire to join their study group.

Rohan Kumar’s selfless dedication to helping his friend, Deepak, not only ensured Deepak’s return to school but also extended this support to Sandip. Beyond academic assistance, Rohan also provided continuous counseling to address Deepak’s mental health concerns.

 “My initiatives to address mental health issues may have started small, but it has had a big impact. Deepak is back in school, and Sandip is also benefiting from our study group. But more importantly, we’ve learned the value of mental resilience and peer support in our challenging environment.Thank you for BJUP team for providing necessarry support and  listening to our story, and for believing in the power of children to bring about change.” says Rohan, with a hope in his eyes.  

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