This is my proudest moment of the fellowship and I am choosing to write about this on our 68th Indian Republic Day for a reason. Do read it you want to stay awe-struck and inspired.
I was taking 31 of my girls back to Delhi after a 7 day retreat to Patiala. My co-teacher Swati Sharma accompanied me. As our children settled down in the second class seater-coach, we did headcounts time and again to ensure safety. After a while when everybody had settled down, I noticed that 5 of my girls were not sitting on their seats. As I got up, half panicky, half annoyed, I saw those 5 were on the floor. They had old newspapers in onee hand and the garbage bag slinging across the seat.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“We are cleaning, didi”
“ Did you guys do this?”
“No Didi. But does that matter?” said Sharda.
“ Didi, It was like this when we came. Peanuts and wrappers all around. We thought we’d just clean it up” said Sania matter-of- factly.
They went back to clean half the coach as they were stared by people in the local train. Some rebuked and deliberately threw more stuff, some admired and some passed lewd ,cocky comments.
“Kya sanki bache hain” ( Such stupid kids) I heard a 60 year old man say. ( Word sanki is replacing another colorful word he used)
Nothing stopped my 7th graders from doing what they wanted to do.
I couldn’t help but shed a tear, couldn’t help but feel supremely proud, couldn’t help but believe that these children will, one day, make India a better Republic. An excellent education is the ONLY way we can hope to save this world.
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