In a class full of energy and enthusiasm, I noticed one sloppy figure in the back, Harshika. She was the only one in the entire class who wasn’t able to cope up with the steps or understand the rhythm. I saw a dirty crepe bandage secured by two pins loosely wrapped around her ankle. After every step that she took, her face would cringe with the pain her injured ankle gave her. In spite of this, she continued dancing and trying to match her steps with the class.
After the class got over, I called her and asked how she got her ankle hurt. She looked down at her leg in utter shock and pulled her pants down trying to hide it. I made her sit with me and held her hand. She hugged me and started crying. I noticed that the bruises on her arms had increased.
Instantly the first thought that crossed my mind was domestic violence. It was the foremost issue that many kids in the rural areas were facing. I tried all that I could to make her talk to me. She had stopped crying then but she was still holding my hand tightly. The bell rang and it was time for her to go home. I told her that she could come to me if she has any problems with the classes, teachers, family or anything else. She smiled gratefully and left with her friends.
I could not do anything beyond that. But pray every day for her happiness and safety. She sensitized me to a life I was never aware of.