For 13-year-old Kalpana, the walk to school has always been a difficult one.
Kalpana lives in an economically and socially marginalized community where her father works as a laborer, not generating much income for the family. Because of their economic hardships, Kalpana has never owned a pair of shoes suitable for her walk to school.
Every day, she walks without shoes for more than one kilometer from her home to attend school on a rough road, making it hard to attend school regularly. This is not just difficult physically, but also affects her dignity and self-esteem.
Giving Partner M V Foundation in India gives new TOMS School Shoes — which are locally produced in India — to children to help increase access to education and also safeguard children from foot injuries and infections. The organization believes that access to quality education is a basic right of all children in India. M V Foundation’s mission is to keep children out of compromising situations like child labor, and provide them with opportunities to learn and further their education.
TOMS has learned that by providing school uniforms to children — which often include shoes — can increase school attendance by 62% (Evans, 2009). This is why many of our Giving Partners in India distribute TOMS Shoes that meet uniform requirements, enabling children to attend school regularly.
After receiving her new shoes from M V Foundation, her father shares that
“Despite our economic situation, Kalpana is eager to attend school” and that “she is determined to continue her education, and these shoes have motivated her even more.”
Now, Kalpana wears her shoes with pride, and is able to attend school regularly.
One Day Without Shoes is on April 29. This year, take off your shoes to raise global awareness for children like Kalpana and access education. To learn more visit, One Day Without Shoes.