Girl attends school with baby brother in lap

A photo of Meiningsinliu Pamei, a 10-year-old girl in Manipur, attending school with her baby brother in her lap has gone viral on social media.

The captivating image of the Class 4 student caught the attention of Manipur Power, Forest and Environment Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, who promised to support the girl.

"Her dedication for education is what left me amazed!" the minister tweeted.

"This 10-year-old girl from Tamenglong attends school while keeping her younger brother in her lap, as her parents were out farming."

In the photo, the girl is seen taking notes in the class while cradling her sleeping brother in her left arm.

In a bid to extend support to Pamei, Mr Singh contacted the girl's relatives and asked them to take her to Imphal, the state's capital, for a meeting with him.

"I spoke to her family and told them that I would personally take care of her education till she graduates. Proud of her dedication!" the minister, who also holds the agriculture, science and technology portfolios, said in another tweet.

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also shared Pamei's photo on Twitter and wrote: "This powerful image represents the aspirations of our children, especially girls. Absolutely in awe of young Meiningsinliu Pamei for her dedication to education and her sheer determination to carve out a better life for herself. My blessings to her."

According to IANS, Pamei's family resides in Tamenglong district in northern Manipur.

She is the oldest of four siblings.

According to the district's officials, Pamei routinely carries her two-year-old brother to the Dailong primary school because their parents are out most of the day farming, which is the family's lone source of income.

Soon after the photo went viral, many people, including Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, announced that they would support the little girl.

The chief minister sent a team from the social welfare department to meet the family and it will extend all necessary help.

The team provided dry rations to the family as an immediate measure and told the parents that the Social Welfare Department would place the girl at a children's home and provide her free education and other assistance till the age of 18.

They also said the girl would be given a stipend of Rs2,000 ($36) a month for the next three years as educational expenses.

Manipur's Education Minister Yumnam Khemchand Singh and a team of education department officials also visited the Dailong Primary School and assessed the difficulties faced by the little girl.

He then instructed the director of education to do all that is necessary to help the girl.

The Rongmei Naga Students' Organisation Manipur (RNSOM) president Daichui Gangmei met Pamei and praised her perseverance.

He added that RNSOM would extend all possible help to the girl till she is able to have a career.

The RNSOM team extended financial assistance of Rs10,000 to Pamei and promised support to her siblings as well.

"Children and students these days are busy with tuition, mobile phone, TV and laptop, and are never interested in the example set by Meiningsinliu," said Mr Gangmei.

"Her passion for studies is extraordinary. She beats all odds and hardship and proves to the world that poverty and lack of opportunities cannot stop her from pursuing her dreams."

Indo-Asian News Service

"Her passion for studies is extraordinary. She beats all odds and hardship, and proves to the world that poverty and lack of opportunities cannot stop her from pursuing her dreams."

- Rongmei Naga Students' Organisation Manipur president Daichui Gangmei

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