One late night on a downtown street,
A young boy sat by the road.
The street light above him shone brightly—
The boy was studying his books from school.
I watched from a distance and asked myself,
“Is he a street boy without a home?
What about his parents, is he alone?”
I walked slowly to the rusty lamp post.
“What is your name, young friend?” I asked.
He only stared, and wouldn’t say a word.
I sat down next to him and told him my name.
Then again I asked for his name and age.
He said he was twelve, without a home.
His parents were beggars. His name was Ashok.
He went to school during the day,
And at night studied under this light.
“Some day it will all change,” he spoke with hope.
In his eyes I saw millions in despair—
Their lives are as precious as yours and mine.
But knowing this truth will not change one thing
Find your own Ashok, for there are many out there.
KP Yohannan. “Street Light and the Boy.” Dance Not for Time. GFA Books, 2013, p. 122.
Read about Ashima, a child whose life has been transformed through the gift of a quality education.