All for One, One for All
I cannot help but think of the united front of Dumas’ musketeers when I think of the girls in Udaan in Mewat. They are united in their efforts to educate themselves and in their endeavor for a better life. If a girl falls back in any subject, she has her friends who will pull her through. If a girl falls sick, other girls take care of her as if she is their own family.
Although the girls have a pure heart and a lot of affection to give, it is not always present on the surface. When they first came to Udaan, they judged each other on the basis of skin color, family status, personal hygiene and so on. Udaan being a residential camp, it is important that the girls get along. After all they have to study together, eat together, and sleep together. Manju and the teachers devised a very clever trick to break the ice. Through a game called ‘Gale Lagna’ (Hug each other) they got the girls to hug each other and break the ice. In this game every girl in the circle is given a number and then a person, who is blindfolded, calls out two numbers and the girls with those two numbers have to hug each other. Now, this game has become one of the favorites between the girls and they play it whenever a few of them fight.
I very strongly believe that this camaraderie is very important. The wise man of India, Gautam Buddha, narrated a parable stressing the importance of a united front. He says it is easy to break a single stick. One can even break two or three sticks together but when there is a bunch of sticks it is impossible to break them all at once. Similarly, it is very easy for a girl to fall back in her studies because of many reasons but when she has friends who come to her aid in every situation, she can continue her mission of educating herself. I feel that what they lack in terms of support from society they make up for by putting up a united front.
Girls in Udaan share everything. If someone comes from a poor household and has only one uniform to wear, other girls share theirs with her. If a girl is of a weak constitution and falls sick often, others take extra care of her. If a girl is weak in a subject, the ones good at it will help her. If one feels home sick, others make sure she is cheered up. There are many more instances of how girls stand by and for each other. For me the knowledge that they are together working to educate themselves is enough to be excited about!
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