Once considered temples of democracy, some schools in India have become antithetical to the idea
The great Banyan was shielding them from the sun. It wasn’t yet blazing in late March, but it was hot out in the open. Two little girls were swinging and slipping from its dangling roots. Too young to be alone at home while their parents were out earning their daily wage, they had accompanied their siblings to school. They were also too young to be in class 1 and so, had a free run of the premises. When I encountered them, they had decided to occupy the chabutra (dais) over which the Banyan grew. There was a mazaar (grave) on one corner of the chabutra which itself was near the entrance at the western edge of the school quadrangle.