Survival without adult supervision: stark reality in rural Bihar

by Sonia Faleiero

10-year-old Meena Devi, right, and her older brother Sunil, 11, outside their hut in Jhanwatola village, Bihar.  Photo: Sonia Faleiro for The New York Times

Meena Devi is unlike any little girl you will ever meet. In many ways, she isn’t even a child. The afternoon we met, she’d cooked lunch for herself and her older brother. “I made dal bhat tarkari,” she said proudly, referring to a local dish of rice, lentils and seasonal vegetables. “But we are out of dal, so really, it was just bhat tarkari.” Meena also washes her family’s dirty clothes and drags her brother off to school every morning.

  • World Hunger Education
    Service
    P.O. Box 29015
    Washington, D.C. 20017
  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
    • Educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
    • Advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
    • Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
    • Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.

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