By Tanvi Girotra
Different things and situations have taught, and continue to teach people different things. For some, it takes an upheaval of sorts, for others, a path breaking revelation, for the rest, a mass movement. But this time, for me, it took something smaller to stimulate my mind. It came from people from an entirely different walk of life. On working with the children at Becoming I Foundation, I realized the bridge between the powerful and the weak, between what we know and what we believe. This bridge between freedom and oppression is what dawned upon me working for this particular TEDx event.
Prince lives at ‘Ummeed Ghar’ for boys near Qutub Minar. He has lived on the street for a large portion of his life. The police once arrested him on a false charge of pickpocketing. “We like wearing hand bands, earrings. We want all those things that any teenage boy wishes for, because we like them. But people think we are thieves! I don’t just want to see my India change; I want to be the PART of the change. I want to study and become an honest police commissioner and protect people from criminals and dishonest policemen.”
Akram used to live at the Nehru stadium five years ago. He attended the NDMC school nearby but there were hardly any regular classes. Now, he goes to a residential school. He loves it there. But when he hears people talk about the Right to Education, he doesn’t quite understand. “The Right to free education is only for children between 6 -14. That means the government will only pay for us till class 8th. What happens after that? What if I want to study more? Which school should I go to? Or am I supposed to work and pay for my school fees myself after 14? Is it my fault that I am 15 years and nobody has ever taught me?
Seventeen year old Lilima wants to become a chef one day. Her dreams are no different than any other girl her age. But her life till now is nothing like that of any girl her age. Her parents died when she was four. Her sister was forced to marry young and she committed suicide because her husband did not treat her well. Forced to live with her aunt, Lily became a victim of domestic violence. She now lives at Kilkari home and has nothing but love and gratitude towards the people that rescued her from her situation. She has seen bad times but she is hopeful for the future. “In this world, there is no need to live with fear. This is not just my life, but the life of thousands of girls in the world. So, we need to be strong. We need to have the courage to face and fight violence.”
Having attended and spoken at TEDx events in the past, I can say that this event doesn’t just aim to share ideas but also wants to share dreams and inspirations through life stories of street children. You thought you had it tough? On Saturday, 23rd of June at Auditorium 1 – JNU Convention center, 5 p.m. onwards, come and see the world through their eyes. I promise you it’ll be worth it.
Sometimes, all it takes, is Ummeed
To register for this event & to know more, click https://www.facebook.com/TEDxYouthUmmeed/app_248974845206841
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