Although our courses on writing and learning to sign a name have always been designed for the women of the Self-Help groups, on this occasion it was arranged for the Dads. The course was imparted by our Social Worker Mala Devi.
The fathers have often had to sign in our Centre to be able to collect the bags of food, or in their children´s school meetings to receive their reports, etc. etc. At these times the men have felt somewhat ashamed at having to sign with their thumbprint since they are illiterate while their wives were able to sign their names.
Our children´s fathers are almost all completely illiterate, working in the fields either as labourers or loading and unloading tractors of sand from the river. Theyi are exploited constantly with wages of 3 or 4 euros per day. They don´t have work every day so the earnings are scarce and barely permit them to cover minimum needs day by day. They had no schooling available for them but they do want their children to study. Until now they had never realized the importance of being able at least to sign their name.
In view of this, a group of fathers asked us to teach them – they were afraid to lose paternal authority by asking their children to show them.
In the course, it is explained to them how important and necessary it is to at least know how to place a signature when presenting documents for the DNI, for matriculation of their schildren at school, opening a bank account, signing a contract, etc.
So, 20 Dads came to our Centre to learn and left very satisfied at now being able to at least write their name or sign any kind of document.
In the Akshy Association we believe it is important to work not only with the children but with the family so they can all appreciate and understand better the value of education.