Culture?" Photo Contest
This annual contest promotes cross-cultural awareness and international study.
"Portrait of a Nation's Future" by Olivia Paige, studied in India
This photo was taken during my
semester abroad at The University of Hyderabad, in India. While abroad, I was privileged to be a part
of a rally for education rights led by Akshara, an NGO developed by University
of Hyderabad students and dedicated to improving underfunded public primary
schools. This silent moment with a young
girl in the crowd was captured just before the rally began. My favorite aspect of this photo is the
intensity and depth of the girl’s eyes.
While she remains silent, her eyes speak volumes. In India, the inequality of girls’ education
is a pressing issue. While I was abroad
I conducted research on the topic of girls education in Hyderabad and
interviewed Andhra Pradesh Secretary of Education Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar, an expert on the issue of girls’
education. In his interview, Dr. Kumar
stated, “No society will ever
reach its full potential, if half of its population remains left behind in the
education system.” It is important for
the world to realize that girls are the future of societies. And it is up to societies to decide what
their future will be. Will this girl
become educated and a leader in her community?
Will she have an arranged marriage before she completes primary
school? Will she be able to provide for
her family or end up begging on the street?
Her future is the future of her society.
What will her eyes reflect about her world? What improvements for women will she see in
her lifetime? The choice is up to
us. This young girl is the portrait of
her nation’s future.