When she finished her routine, the chanting and jeering continued for some time before they figured out that she had finished with her street act. Almost sullenly, the crowd broke up, mostly men, and continued with the business that had brought them…
Sawdust littered the concrete floor and filled the home with a pleasant, woody scent. The man and his wife set the door upright and with help from them fitted it to the as-yet empty doorway. Now his neighbors would have a door that could latch in place every night and during the day when they worked.
Each morning, before the sun touched the sky, she placed the jar on her head and made the trip from her home to the nearest well. Often, she would travel with other women from the village, but today, she was alone.
“Here I get good food, care and high-quality education that will give me a good career. My life would have been different if I had not been called by them to the school.”
“What will happen to her after this year?” That was her mother. “I don’t know,” replied her father. “We were fortunate that this kindergarten school was open to her. Most are not, and even those that might allow our people charge so high that we would never be able to pay.”
Vanti checked her remaining coin and slowly counted up the total before removing five from her hand. That was all she had left except for the two still clutched tightly in her fist.
His tone changed as he said this last, growing sharper. “Don’t deny it. You’re one of them. We don’t serve your kind here. Get out!” Somwati’s lip trembled as she turned away, but she did not cry.
“Watch out Nana!” Her father bellowed as the six-year-old rushed through the doorway, nearly bowling over her mother and father in her energetic haste. Her clothes were all amok, and her dark hair streaked with sand. A bright smile lit her face.
Payal comes from the Dalit Community. ‘Dalit’ is a class of people in India often known as the ‘Untouchables,’ but they call themselves ‘Dalit’ which means ‘the broken people.’ They are the lowest and most poverty-stricken class in India and are often frequent targets for injustice.
Global Helps Network has produced 25 bio-sand water filter units in partnership with the Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) and we are looking to build more this coming year.