What is wrong with this picture?

This picture was posted on Daily Jang”s website on September 22, 2010. I was quite intrigued by it. This is a scene of a makeshift school in one of the relief camps of Sehwan. The scenario is quite commendable. Most of the kids (I think all of them) are girls. This is probably the first time they are sitting in a class room. So what does it say about us. We are using the mayhem of floods as an opportunity. We are educating the next generation, better still mostly girls. We are introducing them to education. They were not given this opportunity in their villages so we have used the makeshift arrangement of the relief camp to break the traditions…All good and sweet.

But something is not right. Look at their faces. They have no idea what is happening. They seem to belong to the most backward/poorest part of the society. The only language they know (I assume) is Sindhi. Now look at the blackboard. C for Cat and D for dog…Does this make sense?. Look at the perfect drawings at the blackboard.

So we have a picture of makeshift classroom of girls belonging to the poorest areas being taught English? When perhaps this is the first time they are being introduced to a classroom.

So what is this? A bold attempt to educate the future mothers or a Kodak picture perfect moment by the NGOs for the Western audience/donors. You decide.


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