25

SMILES. WARMTH. KINDNESS. JOY.

Spending the day with kids at G.P.H.S Yeshwantpur and being part of the event hosted by CRY  was an absolute delight. Bright faces surrounded me throughout the day, shooting questions, sharing their thoughts on the event, Children’s Day, learning and life.“Do you like school? “ I ask, to get smiling nods in reply. “Why do you like school?” I prod further

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IT’S OKAY, I’M A GIRL…

It’s okay if I cry, I’m a girl for I can, it is my thing.

It’s not okay for me to go to school, I can’t, and there isn’t enough money for my dowry, what use is school to me? Says dear, father.

Its okay if I don’t get my milk, for my brother needs it more, he will take the family ahead, says mommy.

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27

EDUCATION IS FREEDOM

As part of my job to visit CRY projects, I often come across situations that make me realize how much we take our lives for granted and that we should be grateful and humbly thankful for what we have.

In one such situation on a project visit to Sardi village in Korba district of Chhattisgarh recently, I did the unthinkable.

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28

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS!

As I woke up this Sunday morning, little did I expect to be so moved and motivated to make a difference in someone’s life.  As a new intern I was assigned to work with different Public Action Groups or PAGs. PAGs  are a group of volunteers who  work towards helping children of a particular underdeveloped area or slum. This week

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29

SILENCE! A DAUGHTER IS BORN!

I am my parents’ second daughter.  I was born in a very small colony-kind of place.  My mother tells me that when I was born not many people came to see me as I was the second daughter!  I was fortunate though that my parents didn’t lament!

India, a country where Devis are worshipped and girls abhorred.

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34

BECAUSE SCHOOL IS SO MUCH MORE THAN STUDIES

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when someone says “School”? *a smile*. For me, it is the zero period of the school and the carefree nature of the children playing around. But is that all? No, apart from all the studies that we did in the school we also had various competitions and that entire week

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36

A SCHOOL THAT CARES…

In the Dediapada block of Narmada district (Gujarat), there’s a primary school in a village called Gadh which is unique in their approach of teaching. One of their most remarkable teachers is Jeetubhai , who had a very difficult childhood and had met a plethora of challenges on his way of becoming an academician. But nothing could deter him from his

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37

THERE ARE OTHER NUTANS, 10 MILLIONS OF THEM ACTUALLY…

Every day, as the dawn breaks at the small village of Shivnagar, Nutan has to get up from bed, and with reddened, puffy eyes still half-closed with sleep, has to trot along with her parents limping to the brick kiln near their village. Nutan can’t think of going to school even in her remotest dreams, as no one from her

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38

बचपन

बचपन है जीवन का प्यारा सा हीस्सा

क़िस्से कहानिया हर पल का हिस्सा

लाड़ और दुलार उन पलों का हिस्सा

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39

THE FACE OF COMMITMENT

My parents and I moved to a town in Kerala called Ottapalam, then a panchayat, in 1975. My siblings were away, my father retired, and for the want of anything to do, he marked a little badminton court outside our house, and thus began my journey with badminton. But this is not my story, but that of my town,

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40

A TEACHER, A LEADER, A DREAMER…

It was early November, and the clock struck one. A huge group of children made a beeline to the lunch hall for their Mid Day Meals – a bunch of happy, excited faces. I waited patiently. In another hour’s time, I was to be served the same meal for my lunch.

The first morsel, and I knew something was ‘wrong’

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