day 5: india: digging deeper

the government in india is legendarily corrupt. politicians have deep pockets and sticky fingers. their greed knows no bounds and more often than not effects the people who need help the most.

the school system is no exception. the disparity in the quality and resources of government schools in india is baffling. brilliant children with bright futures are trampled by the convention of having a brief elementary education and then getting married at the age of 12. why move on to a higher level of learning when your classroom has a dirt floor and a blackboard painted onto the wall? the conditions are deplorable.

yesterday i visited a school that shared a common wall with a cow farm. there was ankle-deep trash strewn on the ground and no teacher in sight. these children are so enthusiastic and ready to learn. this school is in a hindi/muslim area and is on the lower end of the spectrum, but is by no means the worst. i will see far worse condition in mumbai and kolkata.

the first thing that these children learn to do is put out there hand

we aren’t sure if this child was alive or not

a butcher. i shook his hand to show him respect and that i trust his meat. and yes, he is holding a knife with his foot.

the entrance to the school

this woman acts as the principal of this school. with government funding coming once every 3 years, she has taken matters into her own hands and teaches the children on her own dollar.

a group of schoolboys in an empty classroom.

playing cricket is a momentary escape for these boys.

the walls of this school are crumbling and need repair. there is no funding in sight to make the necessary renovations.

there is one teacher left at this school.

the pressure of not letting these children down can be very taxing.

no matter how bad the conditions get, these children always have smiles on their faces.

using the one available desk as her “office” the teacher hands out sheets of paper for the children to share.

with resources so low, the children must share their learning tools.

young twin brothers huddle together in the corner of the classroom.

the principal ushered us out in fear of getting into trouble for talking to journalists. the boy holding up his work was so cute!

lassi is a cold yogurt and cream drink served in ceramic cones. so freaking good.

my guest house! tara’s place. such a beautiful home and such wonderful people.


~ by jacobbmurphy on September 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “day 5: india: digging deeper”

  1. looks like you are winding things up in jaipur now, mr murphy. but since you are planning to visit kolkata, may i suggest that you enlist some help from my father, who lives there with the rest of my family?

    he can at least treat you to a full bengali meal, if not anything else. you can take that experience, along with the recipes you like, with you.

    btw, its a pity we couldnt meet up in jaipur.

  2. out of all these, i think picture 32 is the best one

  3. Just found this blog, to my utter delight.
    Your photos are amazing and thank you SO much for sharing them. I’ve already cried this morning looking at this school and these schoolchildren.

    I look forward to following your journey.

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