Faces of Freedom
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One cannot miss the smile on Kavita’s face as she crosses the corner to reach the village tube-well. Daintily holding a bucketful of laundry clothes in her hand, she looked at  us with a knowing expression, almost waiting for us to ask questions. Nearly 100 kms from the city of Jaipur lies hustled a small village called Bhairopura where GoodWeave India runs one of its Motivation and Learning Camps (MLCs). It is there that GoodWeave team first identified Kavita, a 12-year-old girl belonging to a large family of weavers with modest means. After identifying that Kavita had almost never attended school, and that most of her family is occupied with home-based carpet weaving, it became likely that she was involved in child labour.
As Kavita begins talking while tweaking around with the seemingly complicated switches of the tubewell, the interaction becomes a lot different from the limited visits to her home.  The initial drop-ins at Kavita’s house had painted a vague picture of indifference within the family; Believing Kavita to be “the dumb one among the kids”, Kavita’s father was not keen on sending her to the local school.  After repeated counselling and with support from Kavita’s eldest brother, she began attending the village school, even though the education gap between her and other children her age remains immense. Kavita frowns when asked if she has been enjoying her new stint with the village school. Still a month old to the mainstream education system, she can hardly read Hindi words and has developed a love/hate relationship with Mathematics.  
She talks about her best friend who she dances and walks to school with, how she holds dear the small dilapidated TV set, and her fixation with machinery (especially, the tubewell). In several ways, Kavita is your everyday pre-teen, but her vulnerability and contribution to the familial livelihood of carpet weaving deter her from having a normal childhood. While Kavita’s exact contribution in carpet-weaving is hard to determine, she labours all the same, given the repeated rounds of washing, sweeping and cooking, that she along with other young girls in rural India are invariably subjected to. Now, that she has begun attending school, GoodWeave hopes to bridge the gap she has with her peers through its Motivation and Learning Camp in Bhairopura.
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