Asha looked at the school building with a feeling of satisfaction. It had been their home for more than twenty years. Her husband, Ajith, had retired fifteen years earlier. Years before his retirement both had decided that they would teach children of immigrant labourers who lived not far from their home. Those children had to look after themselves when their parents were at work. The couple started with five children. Over the years the number had grown to more than two hundred. Volunteers and retired teachers joined them. The children were doing well. Many completed their studies and had good jobs. They returned often to express their love and gratitude to their teachers.
Ajith passed away a few months ago due to a heart attack. Some relatives had an eye on this building as it was in a prime locality. They wanted Asha to sell them the property but she resisted. They called her a thorn in their flesh and vowed to remove her forever. With the help of friends Asha turned their unofficial school into a legal institution of learning. The school and the building were safe from greedy hands. The thorn would never be removed.
(Photo credit : Lakshmi Bhat )