Jitender was born in Varanasi in 1994. While at school in Varanasi, he was physically and mentally abused by his teachers and fellow classmates. Receiving no help from his family, he finally decided to run away when he was 7 years old. He traveled to Mumbai, Gorakhpur, and Ludhiana, doing odd jobs to stay alive, before finally arriving in Delhi.
In 2008, Dalia noticed Jitender living on the railway tracks at Nizamuddin. She told him about Nav Jagriti, which gave him a place to live and got him admitted into school in 2009. Jitender was very far behind in his studies and initially found school very difficult, but he received extra support at Nav Jagriti and was eventually able to catch up.
After finishing school in 2012, Jitender began working as an office manager at an accounting firm. In 2018, he got a new job at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a project coordinator for several health-related initiatives. In addition, Jitender is pursuing a graduate degree in social work - a subject he's passionate about, as he knows Nav Jagriti was instrumental in turning his life around.
BholuBholu was born in 1994 in a city called Bulandshahr. He attended school there but was abused by the teachers, and his family could not afford to send him to a better school. Forced to abandon his schooling, he began working as an assistant to a mechanic, but his new boss also treated him very badly, overworking and abusing him. Bholu eventually decided to leave Bulandshahr in search of a better life, moving to Delhi in 2009.
Bholu joined Nav Jagriti in 2009 after meeting Dalia at Nizamuddin. He began living at the center and attending school. After completing his schooling, he was hired to work at KFC as a service agent in 2013. Five years later, he got a new job at the most reputed food delivery app in India - Zomato.
Sarmeen was born in Delhi in 2000 and is the oldest of four children. Her father is a painter by trade but often had trouble finding work. Her mother worked as a maid. Sarmeen's grandmother also lives with the family. Before she joined Nav Jagriti, Sarmeen and her grandmother would go out during the day to look for trash they could collect and sell to help support the family.
She joined Nav Jagriti in 2008 and was admitted into school in 2009. With Nav Jagriti's support, she advanced through school and completed her secondary education in 2018. By this time, neither of her parents were working. Sarmeen wanted to continue her studies at university but was faced with the enormous responsibility of providing for her family.
Dalia was able to connect her with a charitable organization named "Little Angels," which agreed to cover the cost of sending her to Delhi University, plus pay her a weekly stipend if she agreed to teach lessons to some of the younger children at Nav Jagriti. She now divides her time between teaching those lessons, attending class, and her duties at home. She hopes to one day become a teacher.
Sabiha was born in 2000 in a small village in eastern India. She is the oldest of six children. Growing up in the village, her parents never made arrangements for her to attend school, but she desperately wanted to go and would tag along with her friends to the school in the village. Her family moved to Delhi in 2006.
Sabiha joined Nav Jagriti in 2008 and was admitted into school in 2009. She did well in school and her life was going smoothly until 2014, when her mother had an extra-marital affair that led to her parents' divorce. Her father returned to the village, and her mother's new boyfriend moved in - an alcoholic who was abusive toward Sabiha and her younger siblings. Faced with this dire situation, Nav Jagriti decided to rent a small apartment so the children could move into a safe place. While this made the situation much better, Sabiha was now solely responsible for her five younger siblings, and struggled to balance her time between taking care of them and focusing on her studies.
Finally, in 2019, her mother's boyfriend left India, and the children now once again live with their mother.
Mehzabi was born in 2004 and is the oldest of four children. She grew up in a village in Bihar (a state in East India), where her family used to earn their living by making tobacco cigarettes. When she was three years old, her family packed up and moved to Delhi in search of better job opportunities, but her parents had a difficult time finding work once they arrived. Her father began working as a painter and her mother as a maid, but they earned very little. Mehzabi was expected to help support the family by finding and collecting trash that could be sold.
Mehzabi joined Nav Jagriti in 2009 and began attending school in 2nd class. She did so well in her studies that she was accepted into a private secondary school named St. Paul's Diocesan School four years later (where several of her classmates' families employed her mother as a maid). After finishing St. Paul's, she returned to a government school for her final two years of schooling. Mehzabi has dreams of becoming a laywer and helping rural communities like the one where she was born. In addition, she would someday like to run an NGO of her own, so she can help disadvantaged children the way Nav Jagriti has helped her.
Zuni is the oldest of three children. When she was studying in 1st class, her father abandoned the family, leaving her mother to support all three children. Her mother then fell ill and had great diffculty finding work. As their financial situation worsened, Zuni and her family were forced to move in with her maternal grandparents.
Zuni joined Nav Jagriti in 2012 and was admitted into school that same year. Her passion for studies was immediately clear and she began to excel in school. She is now in 8th class, studying at the Air Force Senior Secondary School in Delhi.