Miles2smile Stories

Confident Aarish

4 Min Read
  • The story of Aarish is a sad one. But he is also the one you'll always find smiling.

2020 will be remembered as a year of menaces and ruthless abominations in Indian history. When, on one hand, the Covid-19 pandemic threw open its fangs, and on the other, North-East Delhi Pogrom shook the entire country.

Under the cloak of sectarian violence, heart-wrenching instances of burning, vandalizing, and looting were incepted, causing thousands of people to suffer grave casualties. One such story is of Aarish.

During the North-East Delhi pogrom, his house was looted, and his family had to flee to Mustafabad. As the situation began to settle in the area, they returned after 10 days only to find their home completely burnt and vandalized.

Before the riots, his father, Gulfam, ferried a vehicle carrying goods from one location to another for feeding his family of five, Aarish, two daughters, Rubina and Ayesha, and his wife.

The violence had shaken them. The house where Aarish grew up and played with his siblings was looted and set on fire. Although their inner anguish can never be alleviated, Miles2Smile tried to compensate for what they had lost.

The flames of annihilation left Aarish and his family in a state of crisis and deprivation.

During the relief and rehabilitation work, our team identified Aarish and his family; since then, they have been under our care and protection.

The Covid 19 induced lockdown pushed them further against the wall of poverty, and they were left with no hope of things improving anytime soon. We initially helped the family shift to an alternate accommodation where we provided them with utensils and ration and helped Arish’s father, Gulfam, find a sustainable livelihood.

The only son of the family, Aarish, was enrolled in Sunrise Public School under the Shaagird initiative. Sunrise Public School is a relief school based in Loni, Ghaziabad, set up primarily for the kids of victims of the Northeast Delhi Pogrom under Miles2Smile’s Shaagird initiative.

Aarish, when first enrolled in our school, was afraid and hesitated to participate in the programmes being organized to cheer the students’ spirits and fade the memories of the unforgettable wrath they witnessed.

However, gradually, with the aid and confidence of our teachers, he started participating and getting involved in the programs and events and showed remarkable achievements.

Aarish’s dream is to become an astronaut. He likes watching movies, and it was through the movies he got fascinated about the sky and dreamed of venturing into it one day. He says that the sky gives him the freedom to fly and puts no restraints on his dreams.

Aarish is a promising child who works hard, much like his father, who is still trying to recover from the losses put behind after the violence.

Whether Aarish becomes an astronaut or not, he is excelling in his studies day-by-day, particularly in computations and math. With his courage and determination, he proved to be a brilliant student, and his perseverance shows his true spirit.

Aarish’s younger sister, Rubina, also came to our school after being persuaded by our teachers. We have enrolled her in the playgroup.

In addition to attending lessons for all his subjects, Aarish also looks after her younger sister. Arish is her only true best friend at school, as she doesn’t open up easily before others.

The initiative Shaagird is helping Aarish keep up the hope that very soon, his aspirations and hard work will bear fruit, and he will be able to sprinkle his brightest colours towards securing his family’s future.

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