An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

In contrast to bright, verve and animated ‘gusty waves’, the faces of children in an elementary school in a slum are dull, listless and withdrawn. Their existence seems to be unwanted and unfounded in society like rootless weeds. Their tangled and uncombed hair falls on their extremely pale faces. A tall girl, probably over-aged for her class, bowing her head with heaviness. The emaciated boy looks as thin as a sheet of paper and his eyes like those of a rat. Another boy is stunted and has inherited the disease of twisted bones from his father and his disease is more conspicuous in the classroom than his studies.

The classroom is dim and at the back of it a sweet boy remains sitting unnoticed. His mind is lost in the dreams of squirrel’s game in a tree room oblivious of his poverty and classroom. The walls of the classroom are unpleasantly creamy and are full of the names of the donors, the pictures of Shakespeare, clear sky at dawn, dome of monuments showing the growth of civilization, and a funnel-shaped flowery Tyrolese valley.

The map on the wall shows a world outside that is beyond the reach of these children. Their world has no promise for the future as if their lives are sealed inside the streets shrouded with pollution. Their life has no scope for pleasant, open and adventurous contact with nature and language. Public institutions and citizens have a moral obligation to salvage them from their corpse like state captivated in the confines of catacomb like slums. Their world needs to be opened to the civilized world which will bring freedom, education and prosperity to them.

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