Kynja Babha is a five-year-old girl in the faraway village of Khrang in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
Kynja, the daughter of a broom cultivator, comes from a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family. Her father has a small broom farm down the slopes on the edge of the village. She has three sisters and one brother—she is the third child.
She studies in the Nursery class at the Anganwadi centre in Khrang, implemented under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme of the Government of India.
The 15-year-old Anganwadi centre in Khrang is being run by a single teacher, Teresa Shabong, for the last seven years.
Attired in her torn frock and over-sized gum-boots, Kynja spends a day at the Anganwadi centre.
This photo-essay was done as a project during my course at ACJ, Chennai. It is now a part of People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI).
Kynja arrives at the Anganwadi centre with an orange colour strip bag strapped over her head. In the bag, she has her slate to write on and a steel plate to have her mid-day meal.
The teacher Teresa Shabong has written the Khasi numerals and alphabet on the black board. She watches with pride as her brightest student Kynja reads it aloud for the class.
Teresa Shabong distributes chalk pieces to the children, with which they can do their class work.
Sitting all by herself in a corner of the classroom, Kynja does her work rapidly.
Kynja’s friend carries her little brother in a traditional way, and attends the Anganwadi classes.
Kynja completing her class-work.
Kynja is the first in her class to run to the teacher and show whatever she has written on the slate.
Teresa Shabong helps Kynja learn a new word.
Teresa Shabong makes the children recite a rhyme. Kynja leads the group.
Helped by her teacher, Kynja washes her hand before the mid-day meal is served.
Kynja is very hungry. “Why aren’t they washing their hands quickly?”
Mid-day meal is a huge incentive for children to come to the Anganwadi.
Teresa Shabong serves the food.
Kynja eats with her friend.
Kynja Babha finishes her meal. Her day at the Anganwadi has ended.