I stumbled upon this picture while sorting the thousands of photos on my computer. I do not know how I had missed this snapshot! It was taken a few weeks ago when school results were announced. The three little topped their respective classes and had brought their report cards to show it to their teachers. The picture was shot just outside our Govindpuri primary centre.
The little girls were very proud of the attention they were getting. I think that till then no one had lauded their effort. That is too often the plight of children born on the wrong side of the fence. The stars that adorned their report cards are never praised by their parents who often are too busy to take a moment to give their children the much needed pat on their back.
We did and the girls were thrilled. On August 15th they will all receive a little shield with the words best student inscribed on it.
Looking at the pictures set my mind thinking. What does the future hold for these bright little girls. Going by past experience not much. They all come from extremely deprived homes and are often one of many siblings. Being of the wrong gender the probability of their being pulled out of school looms large: an early marriage, an ailing grandparent that needs to be tended to in the village or simply the whim of a drunken father who decides suddenly that his daughter has had enough education. The future of these little girls, is very fragile, very fragile.
I remember a quote sent to me long ago that said: I do not know beneath what sky; Nor on what seas shall be thy fate; I only know it shall be high, I only know it shall be great. In the case of my three little one would have to quietly replace the last two knows with wish!