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.

I crossed two large rivers to visit a school. The vast rivers were surrounded by deep forests on all sides with no proper roads or bridges. The nearest town Kartala was at a distance of 5o kilometres.  The visit was part of my job to highlight CRY’s work (empowering and protecting children underprivileged children through education) in the media. CRY through relentless efforts with the primitive tribal community had managed to open a primary school for their children.

The first river I crossed was the Chuuiyya river which flowed in full strength into the jungles. As I put my bare feet into the sandy river bed and waded through the water which reached upto my knees, I thought of the many children who did this unthinkable task on a daily basis, not once but twice—to and fro to attend their school.


And at that moment I realized all the many things that I take for granted in every single day of my life–the frequent taxi rides in the city, the numerous complaints over irrelevant things, the constant cribbing with family over unable to attend the latest movie flick, the fights with my loved ones for skipping my favourite restaurant etc. All of that seemed meaningless as I stood in silence in the middle of a vast river listening to the music the waves made around me and wondered the cost at which these children attended school every day.  The monsoons I am told are worse as the river swells twice the size forcing them to remain absent from school.

At that moment did I realize the luxurious life we lead and the fact that how we often take our education for granted. Over the last few years, availing of an education degree sadly has been restored to nothing less than a decorative badge students show off to the highest bidders in order to attract the highest paychecks, in short to reimburse all that time spent in classrooms since childhood.

It is in moments like these that we get reminded that schools teach us more than to get a degree—they make us realize the difference between right and wrong and empower us to stand up for the truth whenever life demands it and help those in need to come up in life!

It was in this midst of nowhere, did I realize that education is freedom and that this freedom is priceless.

Mamta Sen

(Senior Manager, Media Advocacy, CRY)

To give children the school they deserve, support the CRY “Right to School” initiative at

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