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Latika Vihar knows how to celebrate.

Any festival. Every festival.

With all the craftsmen and women we have on staff and all the children who are so willing and eager to throw themselves into the preparations – it’s a shoe-in that our party will be the best in town.

Here’s our Ravan, constructed by the inimitable Shyam Singh, with assistance from an army of LV kids:

Enormous, 20 foot high papier mache figure of Ravan - the embodiment of evil

And here’s the lead-up – Hema asking the kids what Dusshera is all about anyway:

Latika vihar coordinator facing the kids before the Ravan burning, asking them why we are doing this?

with the predictable confusion and reluctance to take a stab at the answer and risk being wrong:

Kids avoiding answering the question - some laughing, some looking down

until Keerti bravely raises her hand:

Kid with CP, supported from behind by her Dad, raises her hand

and gives her version of the Ravan-Sita-Saga

Girl with CP, father smiling behind her, speaks her mind!

Keerti has Cerebral Palsy and learning problems. She’s also got confidence and insight and she wants to speak her mind.

Latika Vihar is all about making that happen. So Keerti is the star. The only kid willing to take a shot at the answer. And she just happens to be right. Ravan was violent to a woman. Not acceptable.

Now I’m not for the death penalty, but kids have black and white minds. They love the triumph, the clear answer, the Lakshman-Rekhas in life. This far and no farther.

There will be time later for the details, for the grey areas. In childhood, it’s important to get the big questions sorted: no violence against women. Understand?

Keerti does.


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