Keep it simple silly – thats what I could think of when I saw this video! Its a simple way of combining, words, with pictures and voice over! The message however that it communicates has nothing simple about it. Girls and women face challenges that could break the most hardest of us but they still manage to overcome their circumstances and give hope. Its a simple but powerful video and am glad that powerful forces such as New York Times and International Herald Tribune have combined their resources and reach to capture these stories.
The first thought when I saw this video was how fast a girl grows up into a role that society expects of her. There can be countless debates and researches that can state whether the nurturing nature is biological or social or both. But for Punam and children like her there is no debate, they have to grow up and take on responsibilities that expect from them much more than what can be expected of a nine year old.
There is no doubt that Punam being able to go to school despite all the hardships and household chores, can make her a “success story” (it is a loaded term, but I use it nevertheless). However, it is not hard to see the future when all it will take is one decision to stop her from going to school and take care of family and start earning. But till then she gets to be a parent without having fully lived as a child. As development workers we must provide alternatives that can help best leverage the existing circumstances of an individual or community, in this case what Punam has going for her is her father letting her be educated, which sadly is not the case for other children from her neighborhood.