Laxmi is 12 years old and dreams of becoming a star football player (or as we Americans like to call it- SOCCER).
Laxmi is the only girl out of six siblings born to very poor parents. She spent the first years of her life in the village. When they experienced a drought, there was barely enough food to feed the family. Laxmi’s father moved them all to the city where he joined the millions of unskilled workers in Delhi trying to make a daily living doing odd jobs.
They struggled a lot in the beginning, some nights they slept on the streets huddled together to stay safe. Thankfully, Laxmi’s father was not into drugs or alcohol, as so many laborers are. Therefore, he was able to save enough to buy a small shanty home.
Laxmi and her brothers then began to attend a government school. Laxmi used to join the boys on the playground playing football. She quickly became a tough competitor for the boys, some who were double her age.
When Laxmi finished 7th grade, she was so excited that she would be able to try out for the school team in the next school term. However, her dream was shattered when her father told her he did not have enough money to continue to send her to school with her brothers.
Laxmi would have to stay home and help her mother with the housework until she was old enough for marriage, then she would go and stay with her husband’s family. A dispiriting future for such an enthusiastic and lively young girl.
It was around this time that One Life to Love started the Education Program for underprivileged girls. We talked with Laxmi’s father, who was happy that we could cover his daughter’s education expenses so that she could continue studying.
Laxmi tried out for the school team and made first cut! With our help, she was also able to join a recreational league. Her coaches say she is a promising player, and may even be able to try out for state level in a couple years.
Laxmi has an infectious smile. She is humble, sweet, and motivated to play her heart out on the field. She is so grateful for this opportunity, knowing that it is only because of people like you that she is able to pursue her dream.