(Patna) “We sell channa (black chick peas), sattu (chick pea flour), besan (gram flour) badi and dalauri (snack items made of rice and lentils). We are part of an organisation where we make all this and we keep the profit from the sales. We use our time and our own money to make these items.”

(Women in Self-Help Groups: These are stories of women living across Bihar who are affiliated with various self-help groups. Women in small towns and villages gather together to initiate small-scale businesses to improve their socio-economic status.)

(Patna) “As a kid I used to live in a village. There were rumours of a ghost in the village. If somebody fell down from a tree, people used to claim that a ghost had possessed him. This led to more scary thoughts which got entrenched in my mind. Many years ago one of my aunt died and I had to go to my sister’s place. My sister was so scared that she held my hand to go to the other rooms or even to the bathroom. I was scared too. That night we all slept in one room: the kids, my sister, the domestic help and me. But my sister didn’t let anyone sleep all night. She felt that our aunt is standing behind her. It was one of the scariest night of our lives.
People used to talk about a headless person in our village. As soon as it got dark, people in the entire village would scream that the headless person is coming. Everyone would rush inside this house and quickly shut their doors. They would light a big fire right outside their doors because it was believed the headless person didn’t come near the fire. But who exactly was the headless, I don’t know till date. This happened when we were still kids, a really long time ago. Since then, I have never been alone at night except once when my husband had an operation and he and my son were in the hospital. I kept all the lights on the entire night and kept a piece of iron close to me to ward off evil. I couldn’t sleep. As soon as I would start dozing off, I used to get up wondering if there was any ghost around. That was the only time in my entire life that I have stayed by myself all night. 
I feel scared as soon as it gets dark. I don’t feel scared if there are people around me. If you ask me to sleep in a room alone, I won’t be able to even when someone is in the next room.” 

(New Delhi) “I have been studying here since I was a kid, from the time I was only 5-6 years old. Now I am 12 years old. I study everything that is taught here and the books that we get from school. My parents work in agricultural field. I want to become an engineer.”
(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

(New Delhi) “I have been studying here for last one year. I have learnt a lot of things since I have started coming here. Rajesh Sir got my admission done here in this tuition. Now I am going to class 10th. I have been coming here since I was in class 8. This place provides free tuition, there is no money charged here. I come here to study and when I get time then I teach kids. I have been teaching for last one month. I enjoy teaching here. I want to study to become a lawyer. ”

(Stories from Under the Bridge School, New Delhi: Watch more about this school on YouTube: https://youtu.be/mGMBjLmzK04)

(New Delhi) “I came here two years ago.”

Her teacher: “She is good in studies. Once she decides to learn something then she quickly learns it. She knows more than the class fifth students here. She knows everything counting, name of months and days.”