Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Zeenat's story (one of the Winner of BlogAdda Too Busy to Care Contest)

I have to work also
My friends will be waiting
Have to catch up MTV show
Its time to study
I need to attend my best friend's Birthday bash
This new dance class at the center hall
Pizza time everything else can wait
I want to go out of India
I am tired of the population in this country
poverty and pollution

Yes, i can go on writing and the limit to this page will finish..

We can always invent our own reasons for not doing something we should have especially concerning others. I am too busy to care, but want to do something. Jaago Re and BlogAdda.com are helping me do my bit for the society.

Zeenat in the class.

Here's what happened:

And I looked back again, “Should I”, I thought. “Darn it all, I am getting late. Next Monday for sure.” I turned over and started walking at a fast pace towards the auto rickshaw. I postponed the thought that I had been procrastinating for a long time, again.

I am a software engineer, and as the name suggests my life revolves around my laptop with the exception of the times when I am teaching in a school where I go on Mondays. Each week those 2 hours of my life gives me both happiness and tension. No I am not a mean creature, but getting up at 6 AM in the morning was never my cup of tea. I drag myself out just for the reason that I may end up educating the ones who might follow this chain and hence contribute my portion to the making of a better society. The bigger reason is that I love to see the joy on their faces when I walk in the class. 40 pairs of eyes looking deeply in to mine, wanting to learn new things and enjoying the JOIE DE VIVRE’.

Among these children who are mainly 7-8 years old there are some who have made their place in my heart. They have hit the spot and touched me with their efforts to learn despite social and economic obstacles. Especially a girl named ‘Zeenat’, 12 years of age, elder than most of my 3rd class students. She is accompanied by her 2 year old sister whom she takes care of even during the classes. There is a certain attraction which she commands and all the time I wonder whether she wants to talk about something. She never expressed that she wanted to talk to me but I always knew she had. There was something about her. Everytime I entered the class she sat in the corner of the last row, did all her assignments with the tiniest of tiny pencil and was always the first one to know an answer but never answered in the class. I knew I had to talk to her about something that was wrong and did not seem to be in place. I decided that I would do that after the Monday class as I had no meeting that day in office (I go to office directly after school on Mondays). I finished teaching at 9:45 that day; I called Zeenat and asked her if she can come to the school gate with me. She looked at her sister who was playing with her pencil now, and asked me if she could take her along. I agreed. My phone rang, Boss calling, , reach early!

“Zeenat, I will talk to you next Monday”.

I did not go to the class the next week; I was visiting my Parents in central India. I should have visited the school another day but I did not. I was busy. That’s what I thought.

I reached the class early the next week; I waited for her to come. She walked in without her sister and her bag on the other hand. I gave the class a test to write and then turned my attention to her. I noticed something, something that was not there before, something that looked out of place and reason. She had covered her head with red Scarf and her eyes were bleeding with kajal. Her lips seemed too red to speak anything. No, it’s not abnormal for a girl to do any of these but it looked like she did not do any of this herself.

After the class I called another student, and asked about Zeenat. I said “Hey, where is Zeenat’s sister, is she ill?” She said “No, Zeenat got married and her sister now lives with Zeenat’s brother who is in 2nd grade. Zeenat will go to her husband’s house next month.”

I did not say anything. I could not. I went to Zeenat and congratulated her. She looked at me with vacant eyes.

I was late; I had been busy, very busy!

“It hurts to see the blackness in her eyes,

the redness of her lips, the sadness in her voice.

I had my reason – I was busy, working, occupied

With the same answer again I had lied. “

I made a promise that day to myself, to give a hand to the one who needs it. To stop by for some minutes, the work can wait. To accomplish a meaning in life greater than filling an excel at office.

Child marriage - A system's irony.

Child marriage is common in many parts opf the world, claiming millions of victims annually--and hundreds of thousands of injuries or death resulting from abuse or complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Child marriage has many causes: cultural, social, economic and religious. In many cases, a mixture of these causes results in the imprisonment of children in marriages without their consent.

Poverty, “Protecting" the girl's sexuality, Gender discrimination, Trafficking ...

Child marriages are illegal in India and we can stop them. Please refer to details of the 1929 act that prevents marriage of a girl below 18 years of age.

How to help


Jaago Re is helping me out, join the hand.....


  1. What a painful story to read! Please, please, tell me you're going to do something about it or at least make sure you're there for her! (Regardless of how the contest turns out.)

    Congratulations on giving this school your time otherwise. I understand that there is no way you could have known, but this just screams the importance of your work!

  2. Hi Seema ,

    This happened long time back and I am ashamed to tell that except for feeling bad and giving her some money I could not do anything about it.

    She left the school soon after ..

    We sitting in our comfortable air conditioned cubicles sometimes become too occupied to care .. which is sad. Culturally education is the only means we can stop this is what i believe ..

  3. Well don't feel bad, there is no way you could have predicted what happened.

    Education is immensely important, I agree!

  4. Also, thank you for sharing this story. It is very inspiring!

  5. Good to hear your thoughts Seema.. education lased India will definitely bring about a huge change ..

  6. *touching* and *thought-provoking* story.

  7. A very enlightening story, indeed.
    I'm glad to see you helping out the kids.
    & we need more people like you to educate India's humongous population. Well done! Keep it up! :)