My name is Panna. I am seven. My parents were separated when I was two years old and my mummy gave me to my granny to raise because she could not take care of me. From then I am living with my grandmother. She is a beggar and every day she takes me on Cox’s Bazar beach and we beg to people. But we are not too good. Many days I am very hungry.
Sometimes I go to play with the children of this neighborhood. But they do not take me to participate in their games. They laugh at me because I am a beggar and not a good one. They mock me by calling me a beggar.
I do not mind. Humiliation is a part of my life. That’s why nowadays, all the time I pass my leisure alone.
The children go to school for learning, and I used to look at them with the tearful eyes. I wanted to touch their note books and pencil. I wanted to draw and write my name on notebook, though I didn’t know how to write.
Then one day I tried to draw something on my cousin’s notebook in her absence. When she saw it, she complained it to my aunt. My aunt became furious and beat me so badly to draw something on her daughter’s notebook. I cried. She said to me that education is NOT for me. I then started to believe that, I am not worth to get an education.
At the beginning of this year one of my neighbors we call Aunty Purnima, who attends the Cox’s Bazar Dryden Women’s School asked me that do I want to study or not. If I want to learn to read and write every evening I will have to go at her home for learning. It was a big surprise for me. I was so overjoyed I could hardly wait for Aunty Purnima to teach me!
That night I passed with full of excitement. I asked to my granny that what I can be when I grow up if I get education.
She smiled at me and said. “Whatever you want to be.” I believe my granny.
I want to do some respectful job in my future and build a home for my granny, so we don’t have to live with walls that leak and blow away. A place where we can be safe.