She was married at the age of ten. And while she tended goat herds for her father, waiting to be sent to her husband's home at 16, her husband died. Pali was a widow at 14.
Lucky for me, Pali says, for in her early years, she had gone to a camp for girls and learned how to read and write. She was able to read her husband's papers, find an insurance policy, make a claim and fight for years to receive her due, give some to his family, and keep the rest for her own education.
Now, Pali is back at the same camp at 17, immersed in a crash course to pass her 10th grade exams, then 12th; and then, she dares to dream, her college entrance exams.
One out of every 100 girls in rural Rajasthan finishes high school. One in 100. Bloom&Give is an enterprise committed to elevating girls through education, even outside-of-the-box education like this intensive residential camp that allows girls from nomadic and herding families, never in school before, to dive deeply into their studies for four months, with tutors, and come up winners.
Bloom&Give supports hundreds of girls across India. Each a story - I could write here for hours about each one and not tire - a story of hope.
I'm thrilled that Ibu can offer these cotton hand-block-printed robes from Bloom&Give, knowing that girls in India are, yes, blooming, because of them. Lives changed utterly. Just what you need to wrap around you this summer - a hope this big, this world-changing.
To Pali and these brave girls ~
Susan Hull Walker