tough decisions

We have to choose kids to go to a boarding school not too far away. This is a pretty top-notch boarding school that decided to take one Akanksha kid for free. This would be an amazing opportunity for almost anyone, but even more so for one of our kids who come from not so great neighborhoods. It was really great being able to talk to kids one on one – I am a part of a team who is selecting two kids from Pune to go to Mumbai for a final interview; Mumbai is also choosing two kids for a final interview. It was also really heartbreaking; two of the kids we interviewed just cried because they realized they would be living so far away from their parents. They are all in 4th grade. One of our kids has a pretty rough life (not saying that the rest of them don’t). Without getting into more detail, apparently his father was a big criminal and someone killed him in the street in broad daylight. The community ostracizes him because his father was a not so great guy. A woman stops him from going to the center sometimes and makes him pick up plastic bottles for 5 Rupees. Everyone is not so nice to him. His mother wants to send him. He doesn’t come consistently to the center but always manages to read and write just as well, if not better, than everyone else. He is also very good at math. He doesn’t really play or go out with his friends – although apparently his best friend is very happy go lucky and outgoing, which I think it pretty awesome. Our (USA) perception of good and bad and personal business is very different. That neighborhood is also not so good either. Many of our kids don’t show up for school or for the center because they fall sick. They fall sick because they rummage through garbage or their communities are so dirty they are just exposed to filth, which would make anyone sick. Two of the kids cried when they realized they would be away from their parents; even one of the mom’s cried. It was really hard to do that several times in a day. I also became homesick when we mentioned several times that Susie and I were very, very far away from our families. Anandhi, at one point, said, look she’s not crying, but if you want you can cry. I almost felt like crying; it didn’t help that there was a 4th grader crying too.

    • Naveen
    • February 28th, 2011

    When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going !

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