Saturday, April 18, 2020

Thinking of a madarsa during the lockdown

I walked away that afternoon with a heavy heart. When I looked around the building, I saw an open terrace where laundry was drying, and large rooms shared by several girls. This was not very different from the hostel I lived in as an undergraduate. It was just much poorer.

In college, I lived in a hostel administered by nuns. It was very strict. We were not allowed to step out without written permission nor receive visitors other than families. Meal timings were strict, as were bath times. The very taps were locked up and warm water rationed in winter. We were well fed, of course. Each of us had a bed to herself but we certainly didn’t have six feet of space between beds.

The madrasa was one tenth the size of the hostel I lived in, perhaps smaller. It didn’t have a vast campus attached or the real estate to allow sports. It certainly didn’t have the money for lessons in art. It probably didn’t serve pastries on Sunday afternoons.

I think of those little girls now, during this harsh lockdown. If, instead of four hours, the Prime Minister had given them four days’ notice, they still wouldn’t have been able to go home.

Read the full article here:

https://www.thehindu.com/society/how-can-a-poor-madrasa-magically-conjure-up-many-more-rooms-in-the-midst-of-a-lockdown/article31366116.ece

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