Monday, April 6, 2015

Right to Education....

Elephanta Island, with ancient caves , on the eastern seaboard of Mumbai, is populated , amongst other things, by a huge amount of Simian folks. This is a capture of a mother and child, watching the hordes coming in, now that school vacations have begun, and people go on trips before the monsoons latch on, making the catamaran trip to the island infeasible. This was clicked by a young girl, out on a day trip to the island, with her friends.

This is also a time for seeking school admissions, a complicated, anxiety ridden procedure in Mumbai. There is also , now  the Right to Education(RTE) Act.

It might be instructive to know what the mother in the photo thinks.

(photograph by Pankaja Date)
They have
a Right to Education
on the mainland
just across the Sea.

A right to attend
with no bathrooms for girls,
streets with
no security for them,
backpacks full of
loads of restrictions
and sometimes
no help
if you get hurt
or being unknowingly played with.

I think
I will keep her here,
and let her learn
to respect the greens,
other monkeys,
and folks who offer food.
She will learn
history from the caves,
geography at the island,
physics wile taking a leap,
when counting bananas swiped,
commerce while observing shops
and Phy Ed,
as she swings from tree to tree
and lands on a step.

I don't need anyone
to give me a right;
I already enjoy it here.

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