If My Mother Were Educated…

Posted on June 27, 2012, by Karishma Khatoon for Apne Aap Women Worldwide

Forbesganj, Bihar -- My name is Karishma Khatoon and I am 13 years old. I am in 7th standard and I stay in the residential school, KGBV, managed by Apne Aap Women Worldwide. We celebrated International Literacy Day this year at our school and I participated in activities like elocution and drawing competitions. When I was taking part I realised that if my mother was also educated and had received these opportunities then she would not have been forced to live in a red light area. She would not have become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Children in Apne Aap's program (Photo Courtesy Apne Aap)

Instead, she fell ill and today is nearing death at a young age. If she could have had an education she would have led a life of her choosing rather than be forced to obey others. If she was educated she would have had her own earnings and married an educated man with a good job. We would have had our own house, clean clothes and good food to eat. I would have been living with my parents, my family and playing with my brother at home. We would have been at school together. Our parents would take us for outings and if my mother ever fell sick she would be taken to good doctors. If my mother would have been educated our neighbours would have respected her and would talk to us nicely rather than fight with us and abuse us. If she was educated she could read and write, she could file complaints to the police in cases of emergency and the police officer wouldn't scold her and send her back home. If my mother was educated the ration dealer would not fool her by saying that her name is not on the list. If my mother was educated she would have been respected by the principal and teachers of my school, she would have been given a chair to sit and told about my progress at school. Life would have been beautiful and easy if my mother was educated. All of this is a dream but I can make it a reality for myself. I have an opportunity to live a different life and do things my mother could not.