*Names have been changed to protect identities

Munish

A school uniform will look good on me

Age: 9 yrs
Location: Delhi
Year: 2019

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Nine year old Munish looks much younger than his age. His age became a bit of debate between his parents but nine is the age local partners put on the form for his identity card. A resident of a park next to the Lal Quila, or Red Fort, Munish lives with his parents and three siblings in a temporary home. The family migrated from Bihar years ago, and now his parents work as gardeners in New Delhi.

A student of the fourth grade in a school nearby, Munish is reluctant and taciturn. With a limited vocabulary and incomplete understanding of our questions, he appears distant and hesitant. However, brief sentences spoken allowed us a glimpse into his world as he views it. “I miss my village in Bihar,” he admits. “I get scared of the wild dogs here.” The boy, evidently weak and undernourished, shudders at the passing thought.

When Save the Children assisted Munish in procuring an Aadhaar card, he told us how the school he attends asked for it. Now, for him, an Aadhaar card is the necessary link to getting an education. “With the Aadhaar card, I can study, I can go to school. I will go to school and get a job!” he says. “And oh, I liked giving my fingerprint and getting my photograph taken!” he exclaims in excitement on recalling the process that led to the card. Oh, the simple joys of a simple young mind!

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