21 de des. 2009

L'entrevista a la Shilpa

Fa uns dies us vaig demanar de participar en una entrevista oberta a la Shilpa, una estudiant de Shanti Bhavan. Avui publico les respostes d'ella a les preguntes que em vau anar deixant, i les acompanyo d'un petit vídeo de la protagonista. Moltes gràcies als que vau participar. Ella va estar molt contenta de saber que hi ha persones tan lluny interessades en conèixer-la i en saber què pensa.

De moment publico l'entrevista en anglès, i quan tingui temps ja la traduïré al català.

Només faig una petita aclaració. En una resposta la Shilpa menciona a Thomas Friedman. Per si no el coneixeu, es tracta d'un periodista americà que ha guanyat tres Pulitzers i col·labora regularment amb prestigiosos mitjans com el New York Times. També és autor del best-seller The world is flat, llibre que conté un petit comentari sobre una visita que va fer Friedman fa uns anys a Shanti Bhavan. En aquesta visita va ser precisament quan la Shilpa el va conèixer.

Anna: How do you see yourself after 10 years?
Shilpa: Ten years from now i.e. when I am twenty six years old, I see myself as a budding journalist on her way to obtaining professional success. I see myself travelling the world and meeting all kinds of people, visiting different places and encountering new experiences.
I see myself as the harbinger of hope for my family because through my income, I will provide them with financial assistance needed to climb out of poverty.
I see myself, working closely with the George Foundation, helping in my own way to be a support for the children of Shanti Bhavan, who are being given the opportunity to overcome poverty, the way I was helped.

Anna: Can you explain a little about your family? (parents, siblings, village…)
Shilpa: I come from a small, Christian community called Mariapura, located on the outskirts of Bangalore. My mother works as a housemaid. At the present my father is unemployed, forcing our family to depend on my mother’s salary. My younger brother and sister, are fourteen and twelve years old, respectively. They study in the village school which has Kannada as its medium of instruction. They have never seen a computer or rode on a bicycle. They don’t know what it is to sleep on a soft bed or study in a prestigious English medium school.
My family is depending on me to lift them out of poverty through my education and a stable job. My mother does not want me to lead a life of hardship and sorrow, the way she did after being married off to an alcoholic at the age of sixteen.
I am the only hope for my family. I never want to let them down.

Joana: Why do you want to study journalism?
Shilpa: When I was in the 6th grade, I got the rare opportunity to meet Mr. Thomas Friedman. My principal recommended that I show one of my articles I had written for a competition. I was zapped when he rose from his chair and congratulated me, and his words were what got my heart ticking. He said, “I think you’ll make a great journalist.” That was the beginning.

I have always had a keen interest in writing, editing, interacting with people and collecting information about events or experiences. I’ve been the editor of the school newsletter. I want to use my talents and interests to do some productive work on a larger scale. That’s why I feel the field of journalism will enable me to make the most of my gifts.

Joana: Do you think Shanti Bhavan is bringing you good opportunities as a woman?
Shilpa: If I hadn’t been selected to study in Shanti Bhavan, my story would have been no different from the thousands of girls hailing from the poor communities, who are not sent to school and are “married off” at a young age. But what has made the difference is that today, I have a voice and an identity of my own.
My father rejected me as a baby, because of my gender. He saw no need to send me to school. But after I passed my tenth grade public exam and seeing the change in me from being in Shanti Bhavan, he no longer doubts my abilities. My whole community has seen the sincerity of the good of Shanti Bhavan through the six or seven children who had been selected from there to study in Shanti Bhavan. I am no longer looked down upon as a “girl” in my family. I am the first person to study in an English medium school and pass the tenth grade public exams of the council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE).
Due to Shanti Bhavan’s enlightenment, I am today a budding professional upon who my entire family is depending for a brighter future.

Joana: You spent a lot of time far from your family. I s this a problem?
Shilpa: No, this is not a problem because I go home twice in a year, and my family members can visit once in two or three months on special occasions such as birthdays or festivals. I get to spend weeks with them during the summer and winter vacations. And after being home for even two weeks, one realizes that receiving an education and securing a steady job is the key to uplifting one’s family from hardships. I find myself yearning to return to Shanti Bhavan, the place where the future looks certain and worth dreaming of.

Joana: How do you evaluate the task of the aunties in the Shanti Bhavan project?
Shilpa: I see no difference between my mother and the aunties in Shanti Bhavan who work round the click for our welfare. They are in place of our mothers, who were forced to leave their children in the trust of care givers, because of their inability to provide a good life for their children…
I and my classmates, and seniours help out with looking after the younger children in the dormitories. As older brothers and sisters for our juniors, we try to set good examples to them. All of us truly appreciate the hard work done sincerity of the aunties in bringing us up in the right way.

Joana: Hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
Shilpa: I love reading novels, writing essays, working on the newsletter and spending time with my juniors. In my free time, I enjoy listening to Kannada songs on the radio. Kannada is my mother-tongue and I prefer Kannada songs to English songs because it is always fun to hear the newest songs in the Kannada film industry. In this way, I keep a close touch with my own language.

Joana: Are you going to be in touch with Shanti Bhavan in the future?
Shilpa: Yes, I will always be in touch with my school and second home. All of us in Shanti Bhavan consider Shanti Bhavan as not only our favourite place in the whole world but also a home away from home. I want to be closely associated with all The George Foundation’s projects and contribute in my own way to be a support. I will always keep close contact with everybody who worked selflessly to provide me with an education and a better standard of living in order to grow up desiring to “pay it forward”. I cannot forget the goodness of Dr. George, Mrs. Lalita Law and all my teachers, aunties and volunteers who have contributed towards making me a better person.

Joana: Have you found true friends in Shanti Bhavan?
Shilpa: Yes, I feel proud to say that I have, because of how much all my friends mean to me. My classmates, whom I have known from the age of four, have always been a great source of support. We consider each other as brothers and sisters and we know each other so well. My best friend is twelfth grader, Sheeba. We have been best friends for nine years, and she will be graduating in June next year. I cannot imagine not seeing her everyday in Shanti Bhavan. I’m going to miss her.

Andrea: What is your best dream in your future job?
Shilpa: I want to own my own newspaper or magazine and be the director of a tv channel. My newspaper will be open to any reporter or journalist who wants to voice an issue that they feel is really important for the public to be made aware of. I want to give journalists the opportunity to publish news that has real significance to the public regardless of wheter or not it will cater to public opinion or bow to ownership policy.

Andrea: Which is the way of helping the poor as a journalist?
Shilpa: Making the voice of the poor heard by the public through writing and making documentaries on their backward lives is one way of helping the poor as a journalist. This builds awareness. It is really important that the public is made aware of the hardships poverty inflicts upon the forgotten sections of society so that people come forward to help the poor in their own way.

Andrea: If you write a book someday, which will be the genre (science fiction, historical, …)?
Shilpa: I already have notions about writing a book. I do not enjoy science fiction novels as much as I enjoy stories based on historical backgrounds. I want to write many books and one among my books will be the story of Shanti Bhavan. I want to write about the life of Dr. George and how he dared all that came his way, to found Shanti Bhavan. With Shanti Bhavan as the central theme, I will write to show how, through one man’s dream, the lives of many were changed and impacted.

Alicia: Imagine you have achieved your dream, and how, you are a journalist. Some prestigious newspaper offers you a job out of India. What would you do? Would you agree to work away from your family and your country? Why?
Shilpa: I would be ecstatic about being sent abroad because I’ve always wanted to experience life out of my national borders. I’ve lived my childhood afar from my family, so working far from my family will not be difficult. After all, I want to achieve world-wide success as a renowned journalist. I want to travel the world and see the world from outside text books and movies. My family and community will be astonished when they hear that I am travelling abroad and my school will be proud. I want to be a real journalist, and travel around the world, witnessing news in first person. I want to see the world through my own eyes.

Roser: Do your parents accept your wish to become a journalist?
Shilpa: Actually, I’ve not yet told my parents about my dream to become a journalist simply because I know what their reaction will be like. My family’s economic and social situations prohibit them from being broad-minded or open to change. The idea of their daughter travelling places all on her own would be shocking to them. They probably think I’m going to become a doctor and tend to all their medical needs or a teacher. They are in for a shock when I express my desire to pursue a field that no one has ever attempted before in my family, or in my village. I will be the first journalist in my village, when I finally achieve my goal.

4 comentaris:

Ferran ha dit...

A future journalist... competència! :-)

M'ha agradat molt veure-la i escoltar-la. A través de les seves paraules, de la seva imatge, he pogut entendre una mica més què t'enganxa tant de la feina que vas fent a l'Índia, Edu. No m'estranya que t'hi enganxis.

PS: M'encanta l'accent dels locals quan parlen anglès. És molt típic i fàcilment identificable; em fa molta gràcia :-)

Edu ha dit...

Jeje i tant Ferran, i serà una competència dura! Tenen ganes de menjar-se el món :)

Sí, m'ha agradat fer aquest petit experiment participatiu al blog. Crec que amb el testimoni dels nanos grans que ja estan a punt d'acabar es pot entendre millor què és Shanti Bhavan.

L'accent dels indis parlant anglès és curiós. La veritat és que els entenc millor que a molts americans!


Blocaire invisible ha dit...

Em fa molta il·lusió ser el teu BI. Per que comencis a descartar, et diré que no sóc home i que no visc a les comarques de Girona ni a Girona ciutat. Tot i que el meu avi va néixer a l'Alt Empordà...

Edu ha dit...

Mmmm puc descartar molts blocaires, però encara queden moltes possibilitats! :)