Malibuites host Indian student

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Sarita Chaudhary (left) and Tali Sandel enjoy a meal at Viewpoint School.

The family of Viewpoint School freshman and Malibu resident Tali Sandel recently hosted an Indian student who visited the United States from a new school in India. She attended classes and spoke to the students at Viewpoint.

Sarita Chaudhary, 17, attends the Pardada Pardadi Educational Society in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. Paradada Pardadi was started in 2000 by Sam Singh, a graduate of MIT and a retired head of U.S. DuPont Asia. Singh wanted to address the gender bias in Indian society. Pardada Pardadi admits girls ages 3 to 14 and is unique in that it compensates the students for their attendance. Each student earns 10 rupees a day-the equivalent of 22 cents. The money is put into a trust that cannot be accessed until students turn 21. When the students graduate, their individual trust accounts have grown to approximately $700, which makes them among the wealthiest and most educated young women in the region.

Chaudhary, along with 20-year-old Kumkum Chauhan (also from Pardada Pardadi), attended classes with her host student. The young women spoke to Viewpoint’s second- and fifth-grade students about their lives and the rare opportunity to be educated through Pardada Pardadi. Both young women come from poor and rural areas of India, where it is very unusual for girls to receive any formal education. Chaudhary hopes to become a doctor and Chauhan would like to teach English.

For more information on Pardada Pardadi, go to www.education4change.org.