the hope is still alive

To get to work I first need to get to the nearest railway station which is a ten minute journey by rickshaw. This first part of my hour long journey starts somewhere at 10 o’clock. And when I get off the rickshaw, while paying the driver, there are these small little married girls who run around all the passengers who are alighting rickshaws and ask them for alms. They are dressed in coloured skirts and short blouses and have a small plate in their hands which has the picture of some Hindu god and a few flowers dispersed around the picture.

Each day without fail these girls ask for alms. I, as a principle, refuse to give any able soul money if he/she expects to survive by only begging. Yet, each day they ask. They somehow think that one day…one weird day I’ll change my mind and just give them the little change that I get from the rickshaw driver.

But no, I don’t think I’ll do that. There’s nothing that these children will do all day but expect to earn a few undeserved pennies and give it to their drunken parents who again have nothing better to do themselves. These kids ought to be in school. If I try and ask them if they’ve been to school, they reply that they attend night school because they’re doing ‘this’ in the day.

I hope this isn’t all they aspire to do when they grow up. That’s probably all I can do…hope!


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