Someday I dream…

My dream

Someday I dream, that they could dream too.
Of going to School like me and you.
Of wearing a proud uniform,
in bright white and blue.

Leaving behind the pots and pans.
Leaving behind the fields and farms.
Leaving behind the kitchen fire,
or collecting firewood until they tire.

or baby-sitting their tiny brother,
or serving food for their farmer father.
or carrying water on their head,
while their brother snores on the bed.

And when they dream of Chalks and slate,
their mother bangs them,
for an unswept floor, an unwashed plate.

Or sometimes when,
they have grown big and tall,
they are sent to the towns,
to make money for all.

Sometimes as maids in a rich mansion,
or an object for Man’s consumption.

Or sometimes made a Mother,
when she herself is a child.
taught to endure pain,
when she should have been unbridled and wild.

Made a Doll, to be played by the world,
when she should have played with a doll.
Given nothing by the world,
while the world takes away her all.

Naughtiness, laughter and childhood too,
She has grown up,
before she grew.

Someday if She could hold the pencil,
in her frail hands.
Someday then, walk to school,
through dusty hinterlands.

Someday, if a book she could read.
Someday, if the world paid her heed…

Someday I dream, that they could dream too.
Of going to School like me and you.

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The Poem is inspired by my Visit to a Tribal Village in Odisha, called Malidoliamba.
The pictures shot me with pangs of pain, while I shot them for my Post-Graduation Theses.
Some of which I shared with you above.

PS: Literacy rate of India pegged improvement at 74.04% in the 2011 Census. But gender gap in literacy pegged at a high too of 17%- male literacy rate 82.14% and female literacy rate 65.46%. While there is only a 17% gap in statistics, the real attitudinal gap will weigh greater than 70%.
This is reflected in all the other arenas. A high Infant Mortality Rate of 47 per 1000 live births. And an equally shocking Maternal Mortality rate of 212 per 100,000 live births.
And this terrible truth reflects in the demographics as well. A Sex Ratio of 940 females per 1000 males and a still lower Child Sex Ratio of 914 females per 1000 males.

This is the story of the missing girls- Missing even before they could be found…
Someday I dream they are all found.
Someday I dream they find their dreams too.

As I write this on the Children’s Day,
I Dream…
Someday, they would all know,
that they have a Children’s Day.

46 responses to “Someday I dream…

  1. May all of us dream for them and accomplish. Amen!

  2. Such a wonderful thought.keep going

  3. Great work, Pamelaji
    Not everyone has the power to see the depth so closely & to express these in such beautiful words…
    I think its purely God Gifted.U r such a blessed person.
    Keep it up…..
    Perhaps God has gifted u for this with such a similar kind hearted Husband to make ur path easier.who feels pain for others like u, and wants to do something for the socially backwards.
    May God bless u to fulfill your wish soon!
    And May U 2 be the Ideal young Icons of our nation….
    All the best

    • Thank you so much. I am so moved on reading this. Yes you are right, i am indeed Indebted to God, for gifting me such a Best Friend for Life.
      And I sincerely wish all of us pass on our gifts around us-if not in material or tangible terms, atleast in the form of joy, encouragement, empathy and concern.
      Thank you, You humbled me. 🙂

  4. मेरा ख्वाब की उनका भी एक ख्वाब हो.. Glad that we have people who are dreaming for others. Superb posts and i hope this will make some changes to the readers who are busy with themselve. We the second class of people(first class are thinker who have only brain no heart) who have heart which feels, have to be strong enough to convert our feeling, emotions into action.
    Thank you for this post.

  5. Wonderful emotions….
    Wonderful blog
    Wonderful post…
    All the best….I hope these ideals stay intact for life! 😊

  6. Pictures are very touchy. A good effort you have made. May all your hard work get recognized one day.

  7. Beautiful Post, pamela

  8. A beautiful poem sharing some of the harsh realities of life. Also a reminder to me to do a little something to bring a moment of joy into others.
    Thanks and regards.

  9. soul . to . earth

    If you don’t mind sharing, what’s your thesis topic and what field of work it leads to?
    I truly hope it’s to work w/ kids or women in some way since you manage to maintain the much-needed balance between pure innocence and grounded-in-reality awareness. Otherwise, such a harsh area of work could also turn one cynical.

    • Hey Radhika! Thank you tonnes dear for such chaste and genuine love for me 🙂
      Even I get scared of sceptics who constantly nag me that writing on such things is pure populist…and Doing helps… But I feel knowing is the first step towards Doing…and so..
      Yes, you are right it could otherwise get cynical..

      BTW one needs a mind to mind!! 😉
      Well, my Masters theses in Sociology was on “Contemporary Relevance of Caste System in India.” And my master theses for a PG Diploma in Human Rights, was on “Child Sexual Abuse in India”. So I spent a couple of days visiting this village so that I could study prevalence of caste in Tribal Society, as well as study the spate of children…. In the mean time I just got so entangled into their lives that I started clicking random pictures and documenting the same 😛
      You can see how confidently confused I am ! And my difficulty in fighting my constant lack of focus in life 😦

      • soul . to . earth

        You’re always welcome, Pamela. 🙂 Do keep us posted on what line of work or any other ways you choose to follow it.

        Focus (in case you meant “ambition”?) is useless if it prematurely limits you to question/ change the wrong things just to fit in, get on with your life, etc. We need more open-minded experiences over time (and age) via experiments. The risk to conclude and settle quickly is just imitating the past. The failure of my generation (born in 70s and earlier) is our need to keep society/ human life apart from work/ambition. This model can no longer work even if we’re reluctant to let it go! 🙂 Old school has to accommodate rapidly changing times. Nowhere is this more evident than in India (or so I feel).

        Anyhoo, just my personal chavanni. Sorry it got so serious! 😉 It could be that I feel protective towards your generation because of the lack of advice/ elder-ship faced by mine.

        • I totally roger your thoughts Radhika. And it is absolutely fine and natural for you to feel protective. And to be honest, this feeling from you makes me feel so fortunate. So no apologies accepted 😀
          But your generation belongs to 70s??? your writings and pics say you belong to 90s- so full of youth and charming wit. Ok i shall quench my curiosity through gmail 😛
          lots of love and Luck for you dear!

  10. At first I wanted to write a big,hearty appreciation and complement for the compassion,empathy that is self-evident here. But then, it would be insufficient and short-of-the-mark. Yes, I must acknowledge and respect your idea,ideology and concern. Sometimes, it is the first step towards a good action which I am sure we will witness. I want to share one of my experiences in this matter that is close to my heart and my life. I hope you will find some connection.

    It happened in 2010 when I was in TCS, Mumbai. We had a little group of people who were passionate about children’s education. So, every Saturday, we used to go a village named Wazepur in Ratnagiri district. There were two schools in the village–primary and secondary. Our focus was on the primary school children to whom we were teaching Maths and English after their school hours. I was taking Maths, just basics about addition, subtraction, etc. There were about 30 children with me. After school, they wanted to play. But, since we were there, their teachers made them attend class for 1 hour more. As usual and expected, they were least interested. Whole time I was teaching something, they were busy chatting, going for break, laughing, making poker faces, running. I had a very tough time making them sit and watch the blackboard. I was literally running after them to catch them, persuade them to stay put and if necessary resorted to blackmailing like ‘i would report to your teachers’. Some listened and some note. I remember checking their answer copies and rectifying mistakes. Since, i enjoy being with children, i was really happy and content to do things I always wanted and still want to do. I remember waking up @5 on weekends just to ensure not to miss the cab. Anyway, of all these children, there was this little kid of about 5/6. He was very fond of me. He always listened me, obeyed me and stuck close to me. One Saturday, just after class, as I was leaving he came running right after me. I was wondering what happened. Then, he asked me my mobile number. I was surprised. What this little kid in a remote village would do with my number!!! I asked him why he wanted it? He said, “Sir, I would call you.” I was smiling and thinking about this child’s innocence. I didn’t know what to do. I could not refuse outright, so i gave him and forgot about it.

    But, I guess we adults always underestimate children. Next evening, I received a call from an unknown number. As i said ‘hello’, I heard a child’s voice and asked ‘kaun bol raha hai’. From the other end, he introduced himself as that child from Wazepur. I was dumbstruck, speechless and completely cornered. Could it be him!!! My God…what a fool I was!!! We kind of talked a bit about him and what he did on Sunday. It was a small talk, but it made my evening. That incident never went off my thoughts, not even now. I would always treasure it as one of my greatest achievements in life.

    Shortly after, I left TCS and with it we moved in different directions. But, that passion to teach children is still burning. UPSC preparation left little scope to do things I love to. But them, life is long ahead and I hope to fill my life with many such small, wonderful experiences.

    Kafi lamba hei gala…kana write about topic I cant stop myself pulling into. 🙂

    • Such a wonderful experience Suri. It’s almost always that we feel good when we accomplish something for ourselves ot for the family and friends. But it feels even better when we get to do something for others where we donot have any immediate ends fulfilled.
      An yes, I very much love to read your minds here. Length is immaterial 🙂
      Thanks loads!

  11. Empathy not sympathy is what all of us and the world needs;otherwise there’ll be just momentary flow of emotions all around and things will drift along.
    hopefully this heart-wrenching post can make people realise how fortunate most of us are ,as most of their luxuries r things which we take for granted.

    • Hopefully, it makes us all realize. Infact even just writing about such things makes me feel shallow and I constantly have an urge to go and act…which I am currently not able to.
      But then I feel, ‘Pen is mightier than sword.’ And if a pen is raised today, a sword will be raised tomorrow- to fight evils out…
      PS: Your Words Matter!

  12. Oh God, this made me all tear, A very sad reality indeed. A heart touching poem Pamela. Thank you for sharing this work with us. I hope the best for all these children.

  13. The ‘like’ is for the extremely fine way you’ve portrayed the very harsh realities of children whose dreams are snatched away before they could find out that they weren’t even allowed to dream.
    The poem and the photos along with their thoughtful captions are both sad and potent. Well-written, like always…

  14. Very painful indeed. A beautiful poem, the pictures are just so sad. May your dream come true, soon.

  15. Such a warm poem…it makes my heart flutter in sweet abandon. You make me want to return to India; my second home, as you will see from my blog page. I am not Indian, but I follow Vedic culture. I miss my second home 🙂

  16. _/\_ great work…true sociologist!!!

  17. Heart touching as always..
    A minor typo I guess.. MMR is calculated per 1lakh live births. Please ignore if m wrong.

  18. Got Goosebumps and tears. So nicely you have put everything together, as exactly as the little ones think – you have put yourself in their shoes. And yeah, the pics haunts and taunts! Way to go – Writer 🙂 God bless!

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