Yesterday I told you about the question whether our daughter also ate with the school kids. While I right away assumed that this person’s comment was referring to the quality of our food, there is one more possibility: he may have asked whether we let our daughter really eat with these children.
I may have to explain this a bit for my western readers. In India, people who still believe in traditional values and hang on to the outdated, horrible system of castes, insist that people of a higher caste should not eat with those from a lower or even lowest caste which they consider as untouchable. They would not want to eat food made by the hands of a person whom they consider as ‘lowest caste’ and they would definitely not want their children to eat with others of such a caste.
Sounds like the middle ages to you? But it is common reality here in India! There were newspaper reports of parents and children boycotting school meals because it got known that the school’s cook was from a scheduled caste!
We don’t believe in any such nonsense and don’t allow it at our school. We have children of all castes, from highest to lowest, as the caste does not define your financial situation. And all of them eat together, sit next to each other and it doesn’t matter which caste they belong to, they just enjoy their food. We don’t make a difference in between them and also tell this to everybody.
Now maybe this person thought we are not really standing behind our concept. Maybe we let all these poor children eat together but our daughter is something better and not allowed to eat with these kids.
Again, this thought would not be very surprising. Many people think of themselves and their children as better than kids from a poor background.
But we don’t. We really act according to what we say. We do what we are speaking of and that’s how Apra can also eat with these kids, play with them and sit in their class to learn with them as well – which she does from time to time already.
If you cannot believe it, just come here. I know there are many places where even children are not treated equally. Children are all the same. So act like it and don’t make such differences!