As is common on hot summer afternoons in villages in India, a man lay resting on a string cot under the mango tree. It was a Sunday. His three sons were playing nearby. The father knew that there was a survey of children and education going on in the village. “Yes, they all go to school” he told us as we approached. “May I ask them to read?” I asked. The father looked sceptical. “Yes, you can, but they do go to school” he explained patiently.
Archive for month: August, 2014
Three years ago I was in rural India directly participating in one of these surveys in the almost unbearable heat of summer. I was with two Indian colleagues who were hard at work mapping a village in Uttar Pradesh under the direction of the village headman. We were squatting in the shade but there was no escaping the hot, humid air.
I am in Class X’, says a diminutive Atul who looked no more than 10 years of age. Resting his legs on the ground while still seated on his half-sized bicycle and a twinkle in his eyes, he mischievously adds, ‘I am stunted’, when I expressed my disbelief about his Class.