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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Johnson - The story of an Indian boy with ambitions

I don't remember him by any other name, just Johnson. I'm not even sure if it's his first or last name. He was one of the older boys in the boy's home in the Assam province of India. You may remember from previous posts I would also travel to neighboring Arunanchal Pradesh to visit the girl's orphan home as well. But this home was located in the more easily accessible Assam Province.


Now I say easier only because a special visa is not required for the Assam province, but it's not easy in terms of travel. After landing in a small airport in Dibrugha, India, a negotiation with a driver (there are no taxis here as we are accustomed to) is required to take you on this 4+hour journey to the province. The + in that 4 hours is applicable because there are many protests in that area of India that intentionally blocks traffic for hours.


But, back to Johnson. He was a stand out amount the boys in the home. He had above average intelligence, was very kind and courteous, had a vision for his future, and well, just stood out as someone who might break out of his cycle of poverty. He was a leader in the sense I think other boys wanted to follow him, but not that he commanded it.


He led by example. Always wanting to do the right thing. He never shirked away from his obligation to the home and wanted to make it a better place for everyone. He even had me following him in true Tom Sawyer style:






But I'll admit I didn't paint for too long. Maybe 15 minutes or so as the hot India sun took its toll on me.



Johnson had ambitions to attend college, something far outside the reach of most in this area of India. He was one of the few who had the potential to attend and be successful.


Education is expensive to most people in remote areas of India. Even high school is not free and many never attend. Young boys are often retained for farm work rather than the family spending money they don't have to attend school.


But Johnson had gained favor with the headmaster and he was helping him to secure the tuition he required for attending. When I last saw him he was about to have an interview. I had packed some sweaters with me as it can be very cool at night in the winter there despite the daytime heat. One of the sweaters I packed was a sweater I wore at an interview I had for a job shortly after college (yes it still fit me and the moths had not destroyed). I offered it to Johnson for his interview and he was very grateful after hearing the story behind it


I don't know whatever happened to this young man. But when I think of him and all the children who have aged out of the children's home, I can't help but wonder their fate. It's not an easy life in these greatly depressed areas of the world. Life is hard to say the least. They had a short refuge in the homes, but when they are forced to leave, reality sets in. Life can be hard.....


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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
Apr 19
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great story. It is sad that so many people have to struggle their whole lives just to survive. I hope Johnson made it. 😊

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Kirk
Kirk
Apr 19
Replying to

I agree!

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Apr 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

We are so fortunate to live where we live and have the things we have. Our opportunities are everywhere just have to pursue something in the direction you want to travel. I truly hope this young man got this opportunity and continued on to great success

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Kirk
Kirk
Apr 14
Replying to

Yeah me too, I hope it for all the children there who are now adults.

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