Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Young Student, Humana People to People India, Khera Village, Rajasthan, India, November 18, 2009

Here we are in the teacher's courtyard, protected from the gaze of men, making portraits of the students. The teacher is but a few years older than this young student, yet the respect that is shown the teacher is nothing short of admirable. In a few minutes we need to move outside in order to gain access to the setting sun, but for the time being we make snapshots inside the space and are free to do so without the restrictions that come with being in public view in a small village.

The rest of the students sit to her right, behind a line drawn onto the floor in chalk by the leader of our team. All of the girls, and I mean all of the girls, sit behind the chalk line without moving forward until they are called for their portrait. The name of her village is called Khera and it is located four or so hours away from Delhi, in Rajasthan, India.

Here in the Land of the Rajas exist the most exquisite of feminine spirits. One can walk through an entire village without seeing a single one, but should one take the time to look the faces can be overwhelming. My fortune is being connected with Humana People to People of India, and being granted access to the students of their Girls Bridge School Program.

This was my second time in this village, and this school has since been closed. We however are looking forward to its reopening next year and have organized the funding necessary for her and her friends to attend classes again, to pick up that small piece of chalk and write their names on the black board. I have witnessed them sitting on the bare floor, walk up to the chalkboard and write numbers in order, recite the vocabulary with immense pride in front of all of their friends.

To my amazement all of the girls were basically at the same level, even though some were much older than others. When one student would have a little trouble with the recitation, perhaps because she was nervous in front of the stranger, she would make it through with the support of her class and smile rather than frown. I was and continue to be impressed with this village, and look forward to visiting this school once again next year.

For them this work is done.

Should you feel inclined to join us in this noble endeavor, you may feel free to contact me with your thoughts. The funds necessary to keep a class of forty girls learning is equal to a cup of nice coffee per day. I am certain that if you are reading this entry you already have a purpose. However should you feel that you have enough room in your life for two purposes, I would be happy to introduce you to these girls.
Halim Ina Photography

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