“On a day of action, the Spelling Bee was a moment of hope; a small but bright light of possibility and joy in a world that needs it.”
On Saturday, millions of people around the world marched under the banner of “women’s rights are human rights.” They raised their voices to demand equal pay, equal opportunity, the right to leave home without being harassed on the streets, and the right, as former Karnataka High Court Justice Ram Mohan Reddy stated so eloquently, “to live independently, the life and lifestyle they want.” The knowledge of one’s rights and the ability to exercise them at all begins with an education, a fundamental right that is too often denied to children in poverty, especially girls. 62 million girls worldwide are out of school. And their potential, their freedom, and opportunity to live a life they want are dreams denied.
While the marchers raised their battle cry from Washington, D.C. to Antarctica, a quiet yet powerful statement was being made at Sahasra Deepika’s 8th Annual Spelling Bee in Bangalore. Children from poor government schools, children whose lack of fluency in English can often keep them in a lower strata, were given an opportunity through our Outreach Program to learn English. In cooperation with our corporate sponsor, Societe Generale Global Solutions CSR, over 4,500 9th standard students received tutoring in English. Kids who rarely, if ever, are applauded for their talents were given an opportunity to shine. The 166 finalists from 42 schools competed in the day-long challenge with enthusiasm and excitement. And at the end, four girls prevailed. The winner, Vinutha, faces many challenges in her life. The college scholarship she won is a chance to leave poverty behind and show the world what she can do. Her fellow participants left inspired, motivated, and more confident to face the future.
On a day of action, the Spelling Bee was a moment of hope; a small but bright light of possibility and joy in a world that needs it. All lasting progress is incremental. Step by step we move forward, making small changes that add up to a better world. Let us come together as a community and give all that we can to whomever, or whatever, needs our help the most. Let us build upon the momentum from Saturday and march on as a unified force. Let’s make a better world and gain equality for all of our tomorrows. And let’s show, as Sahasra Deepika did through its Spelling Bee, that when given the chance, girls rule!