This morning she made her debut outside of her camp, during a practice run in front of the TEDx Talk committee at CSU. While my presentation needed to be polished and extended a bit, she was flawless and clearly moved the committee as shared with me after the talk.
This young girl presently lives in a refugee camp just inside Uttar Pradesh coming from Delhi. Her family escaped the violence in their village early last year, and have found some peace in this predominantly Muslim region. The local villagers have provided their land for the construction of humble structures, and some have permanently handed over the deeds to these spaces for more permanent structures.
Below is pictured the communal bathroom shared by perhaps six homes. We can just imagine how the girls and women of this most conservative society view this option, an option that is basically closed to them during daylight hours.
Zakat Foundation of India is making progress in these camps, has constructed bathrooms in a few of them and wells for drinking water in almost all. While there is an unimaginable long way to go, steps are being made to correct the wrongs she has experienced in her young life. Her portrait is proof enough for me that she will endure, that she will rise above the foolishness and that she will flourish.
Note: These images were made with a Hasselblad analog system, onto Fuji Neopan Acros 100 ISO film.