|Photo courtesy of Bhavana Nissima Upadhyaya|
This is Muthulakshmi. She lives in a village 10 kilometers away. She visits her home once a week. On the rest of the days she sleeps on the porch of a nearby bank, freshens up and washes her clothes at a resthouse for 10 rupees a day, and eats at a common eatery with others like her.
I saw her standing in the hot sun in the morning and in the late evening I still found her standing. But unlike me, she continued to look gorgeous even at the end of the day : ) -Bhavana Nissima Upadhyaya
(The author is program director at SSF Global Foudation in Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. She is a former communications instructor in the Research Service Learning Program at the University of New Mexico)