Paternity Bill in India: Patriarchy At Best

Indian State is expected to botch up any of the well-meaning intentions in its execution. The only comforting factor can be that at least the Indian State did mean well, leave aside the results. Though, the proposed Paternity Bill in India spectacularly fails even this base-level expectation.

I read about the introduction of Paternity Bill in Parliament. I felt happy that India’s politicians seem to be thinking finally about some fruitful actions concerning India’s children and their upbringing.

A cursory read into the clauses of the Paternity Bill and it is sure to bring down any expectations whatsoever.

Period of Paternity Leave

The maximum period of Paternity Leave shall be fifteen days, as per this proposed legislation. This has to be a joke. This cannot be serious. The men of India want to contribute to child upbringing. And what do they think should be sufficient? 15 days, that’s it.

If there was any doubt that there is some seriousness to this thought, the proposal of 15 days of paternity leaves surely ensures that a father’s duty is not to be considered worth-while.

What is the father expected to be doing in these 15 days? More importantly, what is the mother supposed to be doing after these 15 days?

Creation of a dedicated fund for Paternal benefit

The proposed bill reads “The government should constitute a Parental Benefit Scheme Fund in which all employees (irrespective of gender), employers and the Central government shall contribute in a pre-defined ratio”. That’s it.

There is no mention of what’s to be done with this money, who is going to withdraw, why, when, where? No details whatsoever.

Attitudinal changes

The proposed Paternity Bill states that this bill could act as a precursor to incremental attitudinal changes and the blurring of gender role distinctions.

Well, I must say that starting with 15 days of paternity leave is going to ensure that the incremental changes will go into the 23rd century, if not the 25th century.

What Could Have Been

The proposed Paternity Bill could have sparked a debate on the missing role of Indian father in upbringing of India’s future, work-family conflicts, deep-rooted gender stereotypes in Indian families, complete lack of role models to set an example for Indian fathers, public commitment to caregiving, contribution to housework, what constitutes child care and how it evolves over a period of time, role of the State in facilitating change, country’s cultural ideals about work and parenthood, social benefits, gender equality, paid work and child-rearing, having successful careers and fulfilling family lives, shared parenting leaves, dual earner-carer model that features women and men sharing breadwinning and child-rearing roles, help more people in more meaningful manner, do more to change society for the better etc.

But nothing of these sorts can be expected in India.

Conclusion

I suppose this subject of Paternity Bill is something like whoever speaks on it can present him to be a torch-bearer for women’s rights, someone who thinks about gender equality, someone who can be considered refined and suave, someone who is forward-looking and so, someone gets the bright idea and presents the paternity bill legislation in India. It is just that this is nothing but patriarchy at best. This is no way to raise a child.

Given the track record of Indian politicians, at least the lip service to the cause should be expected. Alas, the 15 days of paternity leave adds up to a mighty nothing. And there is nothing beyond this.

There is no participation of women in this proposed ground-breaking legislation. They would have felt that men are better left alone rather than needling them for a royal period of 15 days at home.

The proposed Paternity Bill has lapsed in the Indian parliament without any discussion, though it was introduced on July 21, 2017, in Loksabha. We shall see if there is any further movement on this subject in the newly elected Parliament after 6 months.

In the meanwhile, Indian men continue to be busy doing what they do best (!), the future generation of the country is of course blissfully unaware of all these and will go on to become the present generation of the country and perpetuate the problem.

My Stand

I have been very clear that for the man to have any meaningful role in the upbringing of the child, he has to contribute on a daily basis, starting with the household work right after marriage. I propose a paternal leave of 2 months per year. This has been detailed out in How to be a man – Raise a child.

Interesting questions asked by children

I wrote about the questions children ask. Our twin daughters, B +ve and O +ve, ask us continuously about everything under the sun and the sun, itself. Here is the list of their interesting questions, that stand out for the periodicity and the intensity that they get asked.

Death

The girls ask us – what we are to them. We answer – we are their parents. They ask – where are your parents. We identify them to our daughters. Again we get asked – where are the parents of our parents? Of the 8 people, only 2 are alive now. So, the question – where are the remaining 6?

Earlier, we told them that they have gone to a far-off place. This led to a barrage of questions. How far is the far-off place? Why cannot we go there? How did they go to this far-off place?

Unable to bear further, now we tell them that they have gone to God. My wife and I are agnostic but other than invoking God, I am not aware of any other option. This also raises further questions. Why have they gone to God? Have they gone on their own or have they been called? What are they doing there?

From somewhere, somehow; they have understood that elder people die. So, they want to know at what age one goes to God. We have been asked when we will die. We get asked whether we will be around when they grow up. I have warned my parents and in-laws that they might get asked about their demise, out of nowhere, so that they do not lose their balance.

There would hardly be 2-3 days gone-by without the question on the inevitable. I suppose they care about their own security and safety as to what will happen to them if their parents are not around.

We tell them that either of their parents will be there, if one dies, to take care of them. If both the parents die, they will have their grandparents and my wife’s elder sister to take care of them. Other than this, I do not know how to deal with this topic further.

Money

This has been an inadvertent addition to their questioning repertoire. The girls see that men are travelling on the roads. So, they ask what they are doing. I answer them that they are going to work. So, they ask why they work. I tell them that I suppose, they like to work, and they get paid money for that.

Now, comes the trick question from them. They ask me why I do not go to work. I tell them that being with them is my work. So, they ask me if I get paid for being with them. I answer no. So, a follow-up question – If I do not get paid, it means that I do not have money. I am stuck on how to deal with this.

In the meanwhile, they drop the sentence around that their father does not have enough money. I do want to stop this. However, it is also a reality that we are going to run out of money and I will be searching for a job soon. I cannot tell them that their father has good money. My wife disagrees with me that what is the use in telling it to children who will not understand this.

While we debate, the message is gone. I keep getting asked on a repeated basis if I have enough money.

My blogs

This is a result of my being unnecessarily over-smart. Whenever I am sitting idle or not doing anything worthwhile, according to them, I get asked what I am up to. I told them once-twice that I am thinking about my blogs. They asked me what I was thinking. I told them about how to make people read my blogs and that I do not know marketing. That did it.

Now, whenever, wherever, they see me sitting silently even for a moment, they start discussing with each other that I am thinking about my blogs.

They come around to me and tell me that someday, somebody will read my blogs. They are our little bundles of sunshine which keeps my wife and me going.

Poop, Action of strangers on the road, Mythology

Why is my poop pink in colour? Need I write more?

Raising children and being responsible citizens

Introducing Hindu mythology to children

Questions related to nature

This has been a recent addition to their questioning. B +ve asked that if animals and birds can drink dirty water on the roads and do not fall ill, why we cannot drink. O +ve asked that we can drink the water that falls from the sky, the rain, but once it falls down on to the ground, why does it become dirty? The question that both of them asks – The trees are so good, so helpful, why do humans cut them?

There is so much more to write about their questions. I will cover it in another post.

Conclusion

I understand that all the children are inquisitive by nature. Wondering, when and how this process to raise interesting questions for everything around slows down eventually and children start accepting the things, the way they are, without the urge to tear them apart. That is, when children become adults?

How did you handle the questions your children asked?

The questions children ask

There is complete silence. Both the girls are looking at me expectantly. I look completely lost, ready to tear my hair apart, breathing heavily and speechless.

What is going on? What has happened? You guessed it right.

It is another of those questions that B +ve and O +ve have come up with at the spur of the moment and I have no answer to satiate the curiosity of the two ignited minds.

I have understood that the two most used words by children are WHY and HOW. At times, it almost feels like, both the girls are non-stop questions floating in the environment. They will not stop battering me till they feel that they have received a convincing answer to what they feel is their right to know.

Normally, neither of the two girls is in a mood to yield to her sister. So we always have thin ice to walk on. However, when any one of them comes up with a question, which is often, the other girl always seems to join forces with the questioner to force an answer from their miserable father.

There is no guarantee that once an answer is given, the Q&A session will stop. The answer will be followed up by another question. Again, once answered, there will be another bomb dropped. It will continue until they find another set of questions to ask. And if God forbid, I do not answer, the same question will be asked incessantly till the time I feel that anyone else listening to the conversation / the wall in the room will also ask me the same question.

It is, of course, great that our two daughters have innate inquisitiveness. As a parent, it is our duty to answer them. I understand that this process plays a major role in their learning and building conversation skills. Given that they are still not a part of a formal learning environment, raising questions is a key avenue for them to make sense of the world around them. Just that, at times, I see question marks in my dreams.

The girls have understood long back that their father is not a knowledgeable person. So, if they feel that I am silent for more time than acceptable to them / I am giving evasive answer / I reply that I do not know and that I will have to check, they themselves advise me to check Google. I wonder how parents of non-Google generations would have dealt with this in their times.

The intriguing part of these persistent innocent questions is that the same set of questions will keep getting repeated. I have tried questioning them back but now it is not working as a satisfactory response any more. They have told me that when they ask questions, it is my job to give answers and not theirs.

I have tried giving philosophical answers to their questions, using words and principles that they would not be aware of. I got ripped apart for this strategy when the girls kept stretching it to a point which was unbearable. To make matters worse, they started using these philosophical answers in front of an unsuspecting audience and my wife would stare at me to confirm the adage that looks can kill. I have stopped being over smart with my answers, now.

There have been a number of instances when we have provided enough entertainment to on-lookers and passers-by with our back and forth questions and answers. I have seen people nodding at me, looking at me mercifully, commenting internally about us. However, no good Samaritan has stepped up till now to answer the two little girls.

It has happened a number of times when after the girls’ sleep, my wife / I go on an exploratory spree over the internet to figure out what we have been asked during the day. It is fascinating to be asked about something where we felt no questions existed.

I came across this article that the study discovered girls aged four are the most curious, asking an incredible 390 questions per day – averaging a question every 1 minute 56 seconds of their waking day.

I understand that all the children are inquisitive by nature. Wondering, when and how this process to question everything around slows down eventually and children start accepting the things, the way they are, without the urge to tear them apart. That is, when children become adults?

How did you handle the questions your children asked? How do you deal with incessant questions every minute of the day?

My daughters do not wear pink

My wife and I were trying to recollect the memorable incidents involving B +ve and O +ve. One event that certainly happens whenever we are out is a query about the girls – Are they twins? It would be followed by another question – Are they both boys? When answered in negative and even before we clarify further, one of the girls would be pointed at and asked – he is surely a boy. To the dismay of the person, we have to answer that both are girls.

We were recalling numerous instances when this situation would have repeated itself, anywhere and everywhere, with most of the people. It does not happen anymore. After the girls turned three years, they have started having long hair. Hence, their gender gets identified with the prevalent societal norms of girls having long hair.

I was trying to come up with reasoning as to why, earlier, the majority of the people got the gender of our twin daughters wrong. I do not suppose anybody would intentionally state the incorrect gender of a child. Why would this keep happening so frequently?

The simple answer, I suppose, is that the girls did not wear PINK.

Seemingly, for whatever reason, the colour pink has got associated with the girls; similar to colour blue for the boys. There is no ingenuity about this colour-coding, but it seems to be universal.

The way the products get marketed and show-cased clearly demarcate in our minds as to which gender should be wearing what colour.

There is of course nothing wrong with the colour pink. Our daughters look adorable in the pink coloured clothing. But, they look equally adorable in any other coloured clothes. Why should their gender identification be limited to seeing the colour pink around them?

It is as if the society, at a sub-conscious level, has got it ingrained in our minds about how to dress a girl and how to dress a boy. The gender stereotypes are so deep-rooted in our culture and it gets entrenched further with the marketing ploys of the companies wanting to sell their products to the children. They want the girls to be defined as girls in the manner in which it suits their sales.

We get restless when we come across a child not adhering to the norms of the colour of a dress. And the child mercifully is not even aware of it.

Why cannot a girl wear blue and a boy wear pink? They obviously can. But we as a society would not want it to happen for it fails our ability to straitjacket a child.

I understand that B +ve and O +ve might as well take a liking for the colour pink when they grow-up as they get influenced by their peers. From my side, I am going to do whatever I can to ensure that the girls know that there is no right way or wrong way to dress as a girl.

Our girls have a right to all the colours of the rainbow. If it means getting clothes tailored and customised for them, then so be it. They are not going to be dependent on any colour for the identity of their gender. They can choose their own way, what they are happy with and identify themselves with.

It is not to make them a tom-boy or a girly girl, but a girl, nothing more, nothing less.

What is your view of labelling of a child as a girl / a boy basis the colour of their clothes?

Thumb sucking and finger sucking: The advice abound

As parents, we have had a number of inquisitive experiences, when we are in public places with our twin daughters. None beats all the kind of possible advice given to us by a few family members and a number of complete strangers, regarding the thumb sucking and the finger sucking by the girls.

The context

Like many of the infants and the toddlers, both the girls were into thumb sucking and finger sucking, respectively. I do not remember when the habit started for them. However, I distinctly remember asking the paediatrician about this and the answer he gave. As per the paediatrician, it was a question that he will not take till the girls turned four years. He told us to disregard their thumb sucking and finger sucking and let our daughters live in peace.

He is the person who took care of them for the first ten days of their life in NICU. There is every reason for us to believe and follow whatever he says and this was no different.

Both the girls merrily continued their respective thumb sucking and finger sucking with no disturbance from our side. It so happened that both the girls took up their respective thumb and finger in the mouth only at the time of falling asleep – which meant at the night and during their day-time naps.

The advice and advice and advice

I remember a number of instances when I would be walking on the road with either of my infant daughters putting her thumb/finger in the mouth and sleeping in my arms. Suddenly, I would get a tap on my shoulder from someone whom I had never met and will never again meet in my life.

The stranger would tell me that I should not allow the finger sucking/thumb sucking of my daughter. I would be told that there is an ayurvedic medicine that can be applied to the finger/thumb which ensured that someone in his family lost her/his habit. There were a number of advice listed down  – juice of some roots, bitter gourd juice, bandages, tattoos, nail paints, tying up the fingers etc and all of them were found to be effective in their respective cases.

My wife also had similar experiences, getting advice from the women she did not know.

We would go to social functions. I do not think we were noticed much, till the time the girls were awake. Once, either of the girls slept or even better, when both of them slept, suddenly we would become the centre of attraction. Some family members would walk down to us and start rattling off what we should be doing to rid our daughters of their thumb sucking and finger sucking. Few other attendees whom we would not know would descend down to us and start giving their piece of mind.

Once we would say to these benevolent, unasked for, advice givers that we, as parents, were perfectly fine with our daughters’ thumb sucking and finger sucking; long gazes would follow. We would be stared at and looked down upon at as unbeing of a worthy parent.

The current scenario

One girl left her thumb sucking at two and a half years on her own. The other girl continues her finger sucking nonetheless. We asked the paediatrician on the next steps to dissuade her from her sleep-time routine. He said that the only way was to talk her out of the habit. He instructed us not to experiment with any kind of juices, tattoos, bandages, nail paints etc on the finger of the young girl. We are following his advice and will update basis our experiences.

Disclaimer: To clarify, I am not promoting or supporting thumb sucking/finger sucking in any manner. We have been following the paediatrician advice all along and will continue to do so.

Any memories you have of your child’s thumb sucking/finger sucking?

Last week, we had gone to a relative’s place for an overnight stay. The girl invariably put her finger in the mouth while sleeping at the night. The relatives noticed. We were told about the experience with the relative’s daughter. She was given a tattoo on her fingers so that she would not take them in her mouth. When we did not show any enthusiasm for this solution, we were given the option of ayurvedic medicine. We changed the topic of discussion. It reminded me of all the past experiences as regards the thumb sucking and finger sucking of the girls and the torrent of advice, we got.

PS:

Once, we had gone to a restaurant for dinner, the four of us. The girls were about one year old. It had got a bit late; we fed the girls and started our dinner. One of the girls slept in her mother’s arms with the thumb in her mouth. Suddenly, she started crying and to our utter horror, we noticed that the waiter who had taken our order was trying to remove the thumb from our daughter’s mouth. We asked him to stop and even before we could ask him what he was trying to do; he told us that we should not let our daughter suck her thumb and that we are setting a bad example.

Needless to say, we have not visited the restaurant again.

CARA, Adoption, Shishu Vihar and Unanswered Questions

We visited Shishu Vihar Hyderabad for giving the diaper packets. The process of finding the place where the diapers could be given, reaching out to Shishu Vihar, the actual visit led to a number of thoughts and questions. I searched the CARA website for answers and it led to even more questions. Even though the subject matter does not directly relate to O +ve and B +ve, I am writing down these unanswered questions in the blog – after all, it does relate to children, the future of our country, in the same manner as O +ve and B +ve.

Who are the children in the orphanages?

I google searched for orphanages in Hyderabad and the first search result was from Justdial. There are 235+ orphanages listed in Justdial. I called up more than 20 orphanages to enquire if they had children in the age group for which we had the diaper packs. All the answers were negative and a couple of them told that the government does not allow children below 6 years to be placed in private orphanages and that they could be found only in Shishu Vihar, the government orphanage.

The question is if none of these 235+ orphanages is allowed to keep children below 6 years, then from where are they getting the children above 6 years?

Shishu Vihar Hyderabad has 250 children in the age group of 1 to 6 years, roughly 50 children in the bracket of one year. Now, suddenly what happens that the number of orphans rises so high that there are 235 orphanages in the same city? That too, orphaned at the age greater than 6 years.

Who are these children?

The most plausible answer would be semi-orphaned, surrendered or abandoned children. The bigger question is why would this happen? What would be happening to their parents that the children are sent to the orphanages? What would be happening to these children who find themselves in orphanages suddenly? Does the society know that the number of orphaned children sky-rockets after 6 years?

Why are the children present in Shishu Vihar?

The CARA website has a statement “presently there are more parents in the waiting, but fewer children available for adoption. Therefore, it is difficult to ascertain the time period to adopt a child“. The statement sounds logical and does not require any explanation.

Though what does require an explanation is if there are fewer children available for adoption than the waiting parents, what are 250 children in the age group of 1-6 years doing in Shishu Vihar?

Surely, all these cannot be the cases of special needs children for whom it is difficult to find adoptive parents? And for sure, there would be adoptive parents who will be willing to adopt special needs children as well.

If there are more parents in the waiting, why is Shishu Vihar not empty?

Why is adoption reducing in India?

Below is the snap-shot from the CARA website for adoptions in the country since 2011.

Year In-country Adoption Inter-country Adoption
2010 5693 628
2011 (Jan’11 to March’12) 5964 629
2012-2013 (April’12 to March’13) 4694 308
2013-2014 (April’13 to March’14) 3924 430
2014-2015 ( April’14 to March’15) 3988 374
2015-2016 (April’15 to March’16) 3011 666
2016-2017 (April’16 to March’17) 3210 578
2017-2018 (April’17 to March’18) 3276 651

From the high of 5500+ adoptions, it has touched the lows of 3011 and settling to 3200 for the last 2 years. Whereas, the inter-country adoption has reached back the same numbers 7-8 years before.

Why are the adoptions reducing in the country? This is something that needs research and corrective action – behavioural/sociological/ adoption procedure related / any other matter.

Last 3 years, the adoptions have been below 4000, the entire country put together. Hyderabad has 235 orphanages. Shishu Vihar Hyderabad has 250 children in the age group of 1-6 years.

Nothing is adding up.

Is adoption the only way?

The adoption is the best way for the care and the rehabilitation of the orphan children in their best interest. Given that we have so many orphanages and the children in the Shishu Vihar itself, what do we do?

There has to be some way to assimilate these children with the society apart from the adoption. Are there that exists? What can they be?

The government support for the children in the orphanages

I had spoken to the state department of women and child development about giving material to the Shishu Vihar. The person spoke arrogantly that the government buys only first-hand stuff for the Shishu Vihar children and they do not accept any used material. This is fine.

Now, can the government make the same statement about the children in the 235 orphanages of Hyderabad? Is the government not liable for all the children apart from Shishu Vihar children?

Conclusion

A developed society has to be devoid of an institution called orphanage. A developed society knows how to take care of the children – including the orphans.

The current status of affairs of CARA, Shishu Bhavan and the number of 235 orphanages in a single city does not inspire confidence for the future generation of India.

What can be done? Who is going to do it?

Visit to Shishu Vihar Hyderabad

What would you associate with a building that houses 250 children in the age group of one to six years? Noise, lots of noise, I suppose. We were greeted with pin-drop silence. Welcome to Shishu Vihar Hyderabad.

We were left with two packets of diapers after B +ve and O +ve got potty trained. I got an idea that we could give it to the orphanage and our daughters could also spend some time there playing with the children.

I called up about 20 orphanages, none had children in the age group that we had diapers for. A couple of people told me that only Government houses the children below six years. The assumption being that the Government knows best to take care of infants and will not entrust this responsibility to anyone else. Once the child crosses six years, s/he is handed over to various orphanages, unless adopted by that age. I have no idea whether this theory told to me is true. However, it is a fact that I could not find a single orphanage in Hyderabad with children below six years.

Reaching out to Shishu Vihar Hyderabad

Seemingly, Shishu Vihar Hyderabad does not have a website or any other social networking paraphernalia. Justdial and Yellowpages show a couple of land-line numbers which are either not functional or nobody picks up.

I checked out the CARA website, assuming that Shishu Vihar Hyderabad should feature as the nodal agency for adoption in the state. But it was not to be.

I stumbled upon a private website that gives contact address of all Shishu Vihars across the country. On calling up the mobile number and saying that I wanted to give diapers, the person told me rudely that I need to take permission from the women and child welfare department.

I was told that diapers should be branded (which I suppose they always are), diapers should not have expired (I suppose nobody would ever want to give expired products to anyone leave aside children). I was told that I should have a satisfactory reason why I wanted to donate diapers. He got convinced that my children had no use for diapers, hence I wanted to give.

Finally, he told me that I can come down to the office, give a written request for diaper donation, take a stamped approval and then go to Shishu Vihar for giving the diapers.

Locating Shishu Vihar Hyderabad

I got the daughters and wife ready in a frenzy to reach the place. I told the girls that they might get to meet the children of their age. They kept asking questions along the way about who these children are and why they are not with their parents.

I realized that the Google Maps and the physical address on the website did not match. The gentleman had spoken to me rudely enough to not be disturbed again. I called up the landline number, repeated the process with a lady this time. She told me that they close the office at 5 pm sharp, I should take the approval before that, and guided me to the wrong place.

After taking a couple of incorrect turns, asking 3-4 people on the road, we finally reached the Shishu Vihar Hyderabad. The security guard and the staff at the building told us that we have directly reached the Shishu Vihar without taking the approval. The department office was in the front, but there is no compound wall and no security at the non-existent entrance, so we reached directly.

I again called up the land-line number, it was 5.05 pm. The lady told me that the office has closed, they have left and that we should come back the next day. This was getting exasperating. I told the lady that our place is 14-15 km away, we cannot keep coming back and that we had to give and not take. Finally, the lady got convinced. She told me that I can give the written request to the staff and hand over the diaper packets. The next day, she will make a back-dated approval letter.

The Shishu Vihar

After the verbal approval from the lady, the security guard escorted us to the building where the children in the age group of one to six years are housed. The first building, where we landed up, houses children below one year.

We walked past an under-repair building, a playground full of rubble and unwanted furniture and 5-6 newly constructed buildings, which were completely empty. Finally, we arrived at the Shishu Vihar building.

The security guard told that 250 children are housed in that building. The only thing we noticed was complete silence and lots of toys kept inside with a warning sign that photography is prohibited. Again the same procedure got repeated with the staff who refused to take the diaper packets without the approval letter. The security guard intervened and told the staff that the lady in the departmental office has verbally approved.

We were given the format of the request letter and blank A4 sheet of paper. After giving the formal request, we were asked to make the entry in the register. The staff refused to give us the acknowledgement for the receipt of diapers and asked us to come back after the office opens.

We enquired about the children and were told that nobody can see the children. On being asked why the children are not playing with the toys or why they are not in the outside playing area, we were told that the weather is a bit cold so they have not been taken out. We asked if we can visit Shishu Vihar to celebrate our daughters’ birthday, we were told that it is strictly not allowed and repeated that there is no access to Shishu Vihar children. We asked if these children go to school. The staff told that 4 teachers visit them and that these children are not allowed to leave the premises.

We did want to ask more about the children, who are they, what they do, the living conditions etc. We were told that we had completed the task of giving the diapers and we should leave.

Conclusion

The government has the responsibility to protect these vulnerable children but did not understand the need for the veil of complete secrecy. These children though come from society are devoid of parental care. What is the need to keep them completely segregated? Even though the society would want to integrate them, the government does not want them to be assimilated.

I did not understand the procedural aspects of all paper-based working wherein even today; the back-dated approval letters are being made (what happened to Digital India)? But, why the approval in the first place? Why this government attitude of being a controller of the fate of these children?

I am not raising any doubt about the working of Shishu Vihar Hyderabad, as I have not seen anything. Though, I suspect if anybody is allowed to see anything here.

It reminded us of Anganwadi, wherein we developed cold feet after seeing the real conditions.

The girls came back from Shishu Vihar Hyderabad without meeting any children of their age. Going by what we saw, they will not be able to meet any children in future either, from this place.