Guess who Chris Martin could not stop listening to?

Guess who Chris Martin could not stop listening to?

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Guess who #ChrisMartin could not stop listening to? Read here. http://bit.ly/1GUwa1V

These two girls can do anything, says #ChrisMartin. Know the two girls who inspired #ChrisMartin. http://bit.ly/1GUwa1V #HaqBantaHai

While people on social media were going bonkers after knowing they couldn’t listen to Chris Martin perform in Delhi, the Coldplay singer could not stop listening to the story of these girls – sisters Aneesha and Pooja, who along with the student committee at EFRAH, got 50,000 signatures demanding full implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act from the Education Minister.

The two sisters, along with other children, met Chris Martin and actress Freida Pinto, during their visit to the project site of Oxfam India’s partner Empowerment for Rehabilitation Academic and Health (EFRAH) in the resettlement colony of Madanpur Khadar on the outskirts of Delhi.

Chris Martin was so inspired by the hardships and resilience shown by the two girls, he said: “These girls can do anything.”

Aneesha and Pooja want to do something with their lives. Aneesha, 18, has just passed Class 12 with 86%, and wants to become a doctor.

Her younger sister, Pooja, 16, is still in school and dreams of becoming a lawyer.

When Chris Martin and Freida Pinto asked her, what will she do, Pooja replied confidently: “I don’t want to become a lawyer who fights cases to make money. I have seen the problems in my community and I want to become a lawyer and fight to those who cannot fight for themselves.”

Demanding full implementation of RTE

Pooja and Aneesha were at the forefront of demanding the full implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Of the 700,000 signatures received by Oxfam India from across the country, the two sisters, along with the student committee at EFRAH, got 50,000 signatures asking the Education Minister to create a roadmap for the full and effective implementation of the RTE Act.

The signature drive was part of the education campaign called “HaqBantaHai” (I have the right). The campaign was a launched by Oxfam India, along with the National RTE forum, which asked the Education Minister to come up a roapmap for the full implementation of the RTE Act.

The hardships are not over yet

The two sisters have four more siblings – three sisters and one brother. Their father, who works as a construction worker in Dubai is the only earning member in the family. Their mother lives with them in Delhi. Even though Pooja dreams of becoming a lawyer and study in a prestigious Delhi University college, her mother admits, it could be a distant dream. “The expenses of going to a reputed college in Delhi University will be very high,” she said.

Aneesha has come to terms with this harsh reality. Their eldest sister is currently pursuing her graduation from an open university, while the younger sisters are hoping to get admission in a reputed college.

Written by: Sahil Sharma, Digital Content Lead, Oxfam India

Photo credit: EFRAH team


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