Can we imagine how difficult this young girl's life truly is?
The region in which she lives is the most beautiful from my travels in India… but also one of the most extreme in which to live. Hundreds of meters separate the homes, and the only way to make a living is from the land itself.
Is it possible for us to understand her life even for only one day?
Some of the children in her community will walk over a mile just to make it to class, some well over two miles. Yet they do so day in and day out. The darker portion of the wall behind her also happens to be the chalkboard of her classroom.
How can we measure the courage it took for her to stand in front of strangers for her portrait?
While the children are almost without exception happy to be involved in something so different for them, it still takes a heck of a lot to stand in front of the entire class and be photographed so honestly. She and her friends were on my mind when I presented in front of my high school in Cleveland and my colleagues in Los Angeles two weeks ago. If she could do so with such calm and strength, I had little excuse to do otherwise.
This young student inspires me immensely, and helps this work to go forward. The hope is that the number of schools will triple over the next three years, and that more like her will have the chance to attend classes for the first time in their young lives.
Note: This image was made with a Sony RX100M3.