How Would You Handle This Situation?
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 1600 • f 5.6 • SS 1/100
This is Jyothi. She showed up one day where our group of students was staying, and immediately stole everyone’s hearts. Jyothi was born into a Hindu family that belonged to a lower caste. In India, the caste system pervades nearly all aspects of the culture, from work and education to whom they can marry. Jyothi’s parents could work, but only in some of the most menial and low-paying jobs available, as they were not educated. They told us they wouldn’t be able to afford to send her to school either, and her life would look the same as theirs. During the weeks we saw her, I noticed she had only two dresses to wear, both dirty and torn. Yet she was always happy and excited to spend time with us — or maybe she was just excited about the candy we had! Either way, she became an unofficial member of our group, and we made sure she got to join in with activities when she was around.
What would you have done in this situation? What is your take on the caste system in India?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Joythi’s story, coming next week!