She was dancing in the middle of a road in Deli. While in India I saw many faces, many children, but she had my heart the moment I laid eyes on her. Her body contorted in unnatural ways as she danced her way down the jagged row of vehicles. She was a beautiful face clothed in rags. It wasn't uncommon to see lots of children on the streets. So many children make a full-time job from begging or doing tricks for those passing by. Lots of times someone will "take them in" and now the children work for then in return. I will never know if she had a home, a family or any one looking out for her. I will never know her name. I will never know what she will become. She was just one of many, but to me she was different.
I snapped this photo just as she came up to the window. I know we all felt immediate compassion for her. My heart broke in a million pieces as the van pulled away and she was left dancing in the street. Sure, she may have just taken the money we gave her back the boss and never seen any of it. But we had to do something. I need to do something still. I love the line in Brooke Fraser's song Albertine that says "now that I have seen I am responsible." Yes, I am accountable now. I have seen the injustice in the world and I cannon stay silent about it.
I keep this photo framed so I won't forget her. Four years later, I still can't get her out of my head. Her face is a reminder of all the children like her all around the world and even in my own backyard.
Now that I have seen I am responsible...