About six years ago, on my first visit to India I saw children younger than myself, maybe seven or eight years old, on the streets. They were homeless and dirty with ratty clothing barely holding together. The market area was bustling as I walked from shop to shop. I was approached by a young boy around 7 years old who asked me if I wanted to buy one of his handmade necklaces. My mom and I felt so many emotions for him, wondering if someone fed him at the end of the day or if he had someone to even look after him. His clothes were torn up and he looked so sad.
We talked to the boy for awhile, asking him various questions about his life. After listening to him talk for a little while, I realized he spoke English very well. I was really impressed with his pronunciation and figured that he was not in school because of the way he looked and that he was selling necklaces during school hours. I asked him where he learned to speak English and he said he was able to pick up English words just by walking up and down the streets while selling jewelry to the tourists.
That little boy seemed to learn so quickly. I could see all the potential he had but knew he was never going to be able to use because of his lack of resources and an education. Since that day I told myself that I would try and help children like that little boy receive a formal education and take advantage of opportunities to thrive and develop.
Aahana has allowed me help children like that boy I met in the market. In the U.S., we are so fortunate and forget to appreciate the opportunities we have. Without education, these children do not have the opportunity to thrive to their potential and dream larger beyond what they see everyday.