Asha picked up a discarded plastic bottle, dropping it mechanically into the sack she had swung across her back. It grew heavier as the morning wore on. Her empty stomach growled as she trudged through garbage-laden streets and alleyways. As on many other days, Asha had left her house without breakfast. ‘Untouchable’ and Trying to Survive It was Asha’s daily ritual, ever since she was a very young child, to rise early in the morning to go picking through trash with her mother. Asha’s father was paralyzed, so he couldn’t provide for his family. It was up to Asha and her mother to maintain the family. But being “Untouchables” within their society, they didn’t have many options when it came to jobs. They were left to rummage through trash heaps and filth every day to find plastic items they could sell. Asha shouldered the responsibility of gathering, sorting, grading and selling whatever she could find. Facing Rejection at School
When it came time for school, Asha didn’t want to go. She feared the rejection of her teachers and classmates. No one would sit by her or play with her. She was alone and excluded. Asha didn’t have any friends at school.
Her parents explained to her disappointed heart the reason why society did not value her. She knew it was because she picked trash for a living, but this never made it any easier. It couldn’t be helped. Education was only a faint dream for her and the many others like her. The door for a better future was within her grasp, yet the realities of society kept it barred…
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