Heart of Education is the Education of Heart

In any given day on this trip there is so much experience, angst, love, devotion, heartbreak, serendipitous grace.

It is often said that India is the land of paradox, and if you make up your mind that “India is….” it’s exact opposite will be also be true. This is my experience here, on any given day there are moments that my heart expands and breaks, expands and breaks…

I left my ancestral state of Gujarat and got to spend the last couple days with my dad who was visiting. It was special to connect with him in the place he grew up and help his movement to uplift the village. He’s a great man. I will carry the memories, the students, the AMAZING WOMEN, my grandmother’s spirit, family, neighbors, healing, MA with me and through me until I return again soon.

I wanted to share some photos of the wonderful memories. I had an opportunity to address the community the last day and spoke especially to the women. I brought back the messages of Gandhi who came from the same state and who’s legacy of India’s independence we were celebrating. [Read more...]

Journey to understanding…

I’ve been meeting with the women in the village. I’ve been here only a couple days and already I have been told about two women who were killed in the community, one by her husband and the other by her in-laws. I’m sure there are many more cases.

This is very common here in India, unfortunately, and still a shock to experience it first hand. I’m still understanding everything, but for sure domestic violence has come up a number of times. Husbands drink and the beat their wives. I am told it’s more predominant in the poorer castes here, where the women are also working in the nearby factories and are shouldering a huge part of the family duties. Because the women are working, they can’t be at home to make sure the children go to school and so many children are still not going to school, and so the cycle repeats. However, I am also told that domestic abuse is rampant in all castes and know that it sure was in my direct lineage as well.

This being said, I have been so touched by all the meetings I have had with women. Basically, there are about 10 women’s savings groups that have been set up through the trust my father started. Women come together to pool money together and then one woman will take out the money to use it for a specific purpose, usually a wedding or some household repair. I have been meeting with the leaders to see how perhaps the work can expand and through this have become aware of the levels of violence in the community. The leaders are so strong and beautiful and dynamic. I have more insight into my own fabric, though obviously born into very different circumstances. So, I’m staying open to where the energy may lead… Jai MA!