Overjoyed to share her story with us she shot up out of her seat and ran to the front of the room. Her small hand reached out for mine, “thank you” she said. I grinned and shook her hand. I had done nothing yet, and she had very little to be thankful for, but her backpack had given her hope.
Sasirekha attends Grace Charitable Trust, a tutoring center, after school. Sasirekha attends this tutoring center to get her school work done for the next day and because she is unable to do it at home. Most children in the village are either without electricity or have very little.
Sasirekha may be more fortunate than others because she is able to walk to the center, while others come from miles away. In the past, others were not coming to tutoring because they were fearful of tigers and elephants on their long walk to the center.
Although fearful of the animals, Sasirekha’s favorite is a lion. When I asked Sasirekha what her dream was her deep brown eyes lit up with excitement, “I want to be a science teacher.” She was young, and filled with hope. The backpack had given this to her.
by Natale Fernald, March 2018, India

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