It’s been a while since I’ve done a #TravelTuesday story, and they’re one of my favorite parts of my blog! This is one of my favorite photos from my first trip to India in 2011. The girls are having such a good time, enjoying each other, playing, getting some energy out, and they’re just free for a few moments that they’re skipping rope.
It looks like bliss, doesn’t it?
This photo does not show you a few things:
- These girls come from tribes that are considered untouchable and aren’t even registered as Indian citizens in many cases
- Many of these girls have to fight to stay in school
- This education center is right next to the slum toilet which services 200,000 people (yes, one toilet here, one on the other side for 200k bodies)
- These might be the only clothes they wear
- If this school had not been built in this slum, these kids would probably be begging…or worse, since most of them are girls
- Without this school, these girls would have no chance at an education – the only reason they were admitted to school facilities outside of this tutoring center was because of the staff at this center
- Most of these kids come from homes where they now have the highest education in their household
- Many of these kids wouldn’t eat if the center didn’t feed them
- Some of these kids haver never taken a shower, seen a washing machine, or ridden in a car
And yet, every day, they came in with huge smiles and were beaming with energy, eager to do new lessons, put up with our crazy teaching tactics, and play our games. If you can see the joy in the face of these girls, and if you want to help other girls push forward to reaching their potential, please check out the US, Dutch, and Indian Based 501c3/NGO organization, Ashraya Initiative for Children. I was fortunate to spend three months with these kids and I’m sure you will see many more photos of their little faces on future Tuesdays.
Also published on Medium.