The Story of Anshu – Delhi, India
by Joy E. Stocke and Merrie Allison
(Editor’s Note: Merrie Allison is a fashion designer for the Free People division of Urban Outfitters. She is currently based in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi. For twenty years, she has been traveling to India, working with small collectives and factories to make one-of-a kind clothing. She has seen firsthand the tremendous growth of the Indian economy and also the tremendous poverty of much of its population. Many children in the lower classes do not attend school. Instead, they begin working as soon as they can speak full sentences. One of them is Anshu.)
Here is what Merrie writes;
Do you remember the mali (gardener) at K’s old office? The mali has two sons, one of whom is named Anshu. K loves him because he is so smart…he hangs around the office and salutes k every morning like the guard does.
Anshu would never have a chance in life, (uneducated parents lead to even worse-off kids) but K found an English-speaking school and now Anshu is enrolled. He comes to the office after class and I quizz him on his ABCs and color names.
We don’t know if he will stick with it over the years, but we’re trying.