Patan, September, 2015: It was just another day of field work at Ajmer, Rajasthan. Exhausted and drained out we reached the allotted school to do the achievement and psycho-social tests on our sampled children. After completing the tests with few of them, it was time to trace the kids who were absent in school that particular day. This led us to the interiors of Patan village where one could hardly imagine finding any food store. After tracing the sampled child and completing the allotted work we saw a mirage in the dessert. This mirage fortunately turned out to be a candy shop. Yes a ‘CANDY’ shop!!!

One cannot even imagine how irresistible it looked that day. With an empty stomach, sparkling eyes and saliva drooling we reached that store. We bought as many candies as possible right from the Kissme toffee to Poppins which are not even available in stores at Delhi. We bought things for 50 paisa! Fifty paisa! Fifty paisa is pretty much extinct from metros like Delhi. My mind wandered to my sociology classes when we talked about social and economic disparities in our country. Living in Delhi, one gets to see these disparities all the time as we find five star hotels rising just next to slum settlements. But, the fifty paisa raised a whole lot of different questions for me. I wondered what this huge gap is doing to our country…what implications does it have on our school systems, on our children? With goals such as “Education for All,” are we also ensuring equity? Reflecting on these issues, clutching the sweets, we headed back to our hotel.

Written By: Niharika Budhraja, CECED, Ambedkar University Delhi. She can be reached at niharika@aud.ac.in

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely of the author. This is not necessarily CECED’s point of view but only reported by CECED.