An on-the-ground report from One Billion Literates Foundation
It has been a long day. We have been on the road for more than 5 hours already. This is going to be our last stop, but we are nowhere near our destination. The route is quite magical and the scenery very striking. We are passing through verdant fields, two vehicles hugging the middle of a narrow, but well-paved rural road. At one point, we have to cross a small bridge which has been built over a stream; the stream is overflowing from the rains this week and the bridge has been breached. We drive through watchfully, a small prayer on our lips; if we have a vehicle breakdown here with the heavy load, we would be here for a very long time; but we keep going, for we know that we will be the only hope for Thimmaiain Doddi, a tiny village on the top of a small but steep hill. This has all of twenty houses on the two sides of a lane with more than two hundred people living there; It has a small, quaint government run school which we have been working with for a few years now; and that is how we have come to know about their hardships.
The village is a happy place, with very happy people; the poverty is striking, but gets eclipsed by the cleanliness of the one cemented lane it has and the pretty picture it poses with tiny, neat houses on either side. We are done pretty quickly with our work there, and a few mandatory photographs taken – we are soon headed back down; across the same overflowing stream and through the fields.
This has been a good day. A long one, but a good one. There’s much more to do; if the lockdown continues, we will need to come back here in another couple of weeks; but till then the people of Thimmaian Doddi will not go hungry.
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