My name is Sowjanya. I am studying IX Standard in Aarti school. I live in Aarti Home. I have two
younger brothers. My hobbies are playing with children and studying moral stories. I like skyblue
and pink colours. My favourite subjects are math, social and English. My favourite dishes are dosa
and pure maggi. My aim is to become a software engineer when I am older. When I was a child, my
parents died. At that time, no one was looking after me. Every day, I cried in my house because
they sent me to a government Telegu-medium school in my village while my brothers went to an
English medium school in the city. The teachers did not teach me well, and I didn’t study well.
When my uncle noticed this, he brought me to Aarti Home. Now, I am studying in an English
medium. When I came here, I felt very happy. I am studying very well in this school. Now I am studying 9th class and am ranked first in my class.
I came to Aarti Home in 2008. When I came here I was 12 years old. I don’t have parents because they died. My father drank poison and then died, and then my mother also died. I don’t know how she died. My uncle is looking after my brothers. I joined Aarti Home because I became a burden to them because I am a girl.
I am very happy living in Aarti Home. It is a shelter for us. I like Aarti Home because all members are friendly with me. We really enjoy celebrating the festivals, especially Holi. When we celebrate Diwali Festival we burn crackers and feel very happy. We also went on a tour, which we enjoyed a lot. This is the first time I have had so many loving mothers. In Aarti Home we have many facilities. We learn activities like dancing, singing, drawing, music, etc.
After living in Aarti home over the years, I have thought about why my uncle left only me here and not my brothers. Why did he make my brothers study in his house and not me? When I think about this, I feel very sad. When I have my own children, I only want to have girls, and I will educate all of them. I am just as smart as my brothers. Aarti home gave me a chance; I will give my own girls the same chance. Others should too.
This story was made possible by the photovoice project by Kent William Becker from the university of Wyoming.