These children are WOOPIE children – I don’t like calling them slum children so we re-named them. WOOPIE stands for the Way Out Of Poverty Is Education.
They love coming to ‘after school school’ and they play, learn dances and songs, learn maths, English and Hindi. They always get a treat – an ‘eatable treat’ which they love.
This population can be transient. As the children get older, the families might need them to go out to work or to stay home and look after younger siblings while the parents find work. From year to year when I visit, I know some of them; some are new to me and some I knew from before are no longer there.
These children can seem so joyful as well as so longing. They bring me great joy as well as pain.