*The Encounter with the Girl in a Gunny Sack*

I was passing by a construction site today.

A government hospital is being built in our neighborhood. The encounter I had just shook me to the core. There was a tree in there on which a gunny sack was hanging with a crying baby inside. The baby looked no more than a week old.

I kept staring…

After a minute or two, I saw a lady running towards me. Talking to her, I realized that it was a baby girl and she was the mother. She had delivered her two days earlier.

I urged her to take some rest and take care of her baby.

She said, I can only do one thing right now, either I can look after her now or I can feed her in the night. I choose to feed her. After all, I am her mother…

I could say nothing as she hurried back to work. She was afraid that she would lose her job.

I put the small sum I had in my wallet in the gunny sack with the hope that she and her baby would not sleep hungry for at least a couple of nights.

What do you think the future holds for her?

I think….

She will learn to look after herself at a very early age. She will know hunger and paucity. She might not go to school as her parents are laborers. She might be forced into child labor to support her family.

I am not stating any prophecy for that child. I don’t want her to live like that but that’s how most of the poverty-stricken live their lives.

In the dearth of opportunities.

Seeing the extent of poverty in my country made me cry.


-Bharat Dhawan

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