The Storekeeper

She cheerfully obliged when I asked her if I can take her photo. She was tending their small store in a Dalit community on the fringes of a middle-class village. Her family was able to extend the store hours because of the small bulb plugged into a solar-powered battery they were renting for 20 rupiahs. Because the poor families cannot afford home lighting, a local entrepreneur took a loan from a rural bank to provide lighting to the poor. The entrepreneur is also assisted by SELCO led by Dr. Harish Hande, a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee.

While tending the store, she can study her lessons as well. She goes to a public school. Though poor, this little girl is able to comprehend and speak some English.

In this part of India, the plight of the Dalit community becomes less difficult especially at night when children like her can study their lessons. It is always their fervent wish to be able to get out of their caste.


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