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Girl (12) teaches tsunami homeless

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  • altenergy2005
    INDIA Girl (12) teaches tsunami homeless http://iafrica.com/news/worldnews/402589.htm Posted Sun, 09 Jan 2005 Indian schoolgirl Aashna Lucas is only 12 years
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 10, 2005
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      INDIA
      Girl (12) teaches tsunami homeless
      http://iafrica.com/news/worldnews/402589.htm
      Posted Sun, 09 Jan 2005

      Indian schoolgirl Aashna Lucas is only 12 years old but she has taken
      on the massive job of helping educate youngsters left homeless by the
      tsunamis which lashed India's remote Andaman Islands.

      "The tsunamis washed away their schools so how will they get an
      education if we don't do something?" asked Aashna at a fairground in
      the territory's capital, Port Blair, that has been transformed into
      an emergency shelter.

      A grade A student at Mount Carmel Convent in Port Blair, Aashna has
      plunged into the task of schooling kindergarten-age tribal children
      evacuated from Car Nicobar island, which was devastated by the
      towering tsunamis two weeks ago.

      She takes her job of teaching the tots — mostly aged three to five
      years, but a few of whom are older than her — extremely seriously. "I
      come here exactly at 8am every day and often leave at 11 at night
      during which I hold several shifts and they should not be disturbed,"
      she said during a recess break.

      Aashna, whose own school is closed due to the disaster, teaches some
      15-odd tribal children poetry, English and arithmetic during each
      shift, shelter officials said. Teachers said she had a natural gift
      for teaching.

      "It's amazing for a small girl like this to be able to instill
      discipline among such small children and then actually getting their
      attention to teach them stories," said N. Senguppa, a Port Blair
      teacher and aid worker.

      Among the six endangered tribes in the Nicobar islands, the largely
      Christian Nicobaris who number some 28 000 have integrated the most
      into India's mainstream society.

      "I teach them multiplication tables, I tell them stories from
      textbooks and I give English and Hindi lessons," said Aashna, who is
      also a Nicobarese tribal.

      A believer in "spare the rod and spoil the child", she added, "I
      spank those who don't pay attention".

      The some 250 Nicobarese adults in the camp are enthusiastic about
      Aashna's education efforts and have asked her to take more children
      into her "school".

      Waves as high as 10m slammed into the villages of Car Nicobar, home
      to thousands of Nicobarese aborigines, many of whom were evacuated to
      Port Blair.

      Some 1205 people are confirmed dead and 5531 still missing and feared
      dead on the Andamans which lay close to the epicentre of the
      underground earthquake off Indonesia that triggered the giant waves
      on December 26.

      Nationwide, India's death toll totals at least 10 012 people with
      5624 missing, most feared dead.
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