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The Day Before the Storm

Hello Friends and Family!

Today is the day before the storm! In July, the situation at our ABM Schools went from bad to worse. The Education Department cut off the mid-day meals, the books, bags, and uniforms they are mandated to provide for the students of our Primary School (or Elementary School as it is known in the U.S.A). The only recourse left for me was to knock on the doors of justice. I am grateful for the legal training I have. I have been enrolled with the Bar Council of India since 2012.

On August 8th, I submitted my Writ Petition. It took 3 weeks for scrutiny and numbering. It is one of its kind because I am the petitioner and advocate (counsel) for my own case. It is referred to as "Party-in-Person".

My case now has a number. I now have a foot inside the courtroom. The case is listed to be heard tomorrow, September 2, by Justice B. Krishna Mohan.

My beloved husband has enabled me in my preparation; your support will keep me on track.

These rural kids come from homes of generational dire poverty. The parent(s), one or both, work as farmhands on daily wages, men at Rs. 700 a day (approximately, US$8.50); the women for Rs. 300 (approximately US$3.60) for 6 hours a day; this occurs only when work is available. So, imagine running a family of 4 or more, if elderly parents or younger unmarried siblings are living in the same household with them, which is very common, on a DAILY. Income of $9 for 6 days, $54 for the week, and maybe $23 for the woman, if she has worked for 6 days. Now add to it the Sundays, which are not workdays, sick days, family emergency days, etc. You can do the math.

There is NO SOCIAL SECURITY, only a limited amount of subsidized rice.

These families depend on the Mid-Day Meals for their children at school and hope that a quality education will be the only way out of this generational poverty.

Last Friday, when I finally got a number for my case, followed by the date on Sunday, I was reminded in 2006, when Sudheer and I were to become a family. I believed that our marriage had purpose, that we would be strengthened to “be like a well-watered garden,” or “like a spring whose waters never fail.” I felt that in our marriage we would be called “Repairers of the Breach, Restorers of the Streets of Dwelling."

You, our friends and partners, are aware of the many lives that continue to be rebuild as we work in the Madhira Field. You also know and have participated in rebuilding (renovating) many actual "ancient" ruins with us. Bless you.

I have finally heard my call and privilege to take up justice issues all the way to legal redressal for the weak and the least. Sudheer has been doing this since 2004 and that is of immense help to me. Please pray that I will be able to present the case properly and when the time comes for arguments, between Sudheer and me, I will be able to put forward a strong defense for the good of the least, in this case, the marginalized children. This will be my litmus test!

In GREAT mercy, because we are both attorneys so there is no counsel fee involved; our main expenditure is gas for our cars and many hours of backbreaking and mind-blowing preparation. Amaravati is a 200km (124 miles) round trip.

As always, we continue to work on the jasmine field and sewing center. We are continuing to find an even rhythm among our variety of ministries. Thank you for your constant support; we are grateful to each one of you.

Please empower me and us with your thoughts, especially for tomorrow. May justice flow like water.

Love and thanks in advance.

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