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The life of Gauri - a bright shining star

Arise’s India Coordinator, Sister Arpan Carvalho, writes on the bright life and tragic loss of Gauri - a child of the Migrant Project in North India.

A life of a child has no limits, with a whole world of possibilities waiting to be explored. Who will this child become? Where will they go? What will they learn? Who will they come to love? When that life is taken and a lifetime of possibilities turn to dust, the world stands still for a moment.

Gauri was a six year old migrant girl from a slum in Northern India. She was a member of a child’s education centre supported by Arise. From infancy, Gauri could be found in every class, as one of the most consistent and engaged students of the centre.

Gauri lost her mother at a very tender age. She was left in a home that was no place for children. The house was coming apart and her needs were not met. I wondered whether Gauri was okay spending her nights there, often without a parent to look after her.

Gauri had two older brothers. All three of them found refuge in the education centre and spent much of their time there, in the safe and caring hands of my colleagues. When the centre closed each day, the three would take to the slum, strolling around until nightfall.

We lost Gauri on the 9th of July 2020 to a tragic murder. Though still under police investigation, the incident has been linked to Gauri's older brother, blinded by pain and addiction. It has sent shock waves through the slum.

Arise’s network in the area, the Bethany Sisters, have known and loved Gauri all her life. They cannot reconcile themselves with the idea of Gauri not sitting in the front row of her class everyday, with her large eager eyes and brisk hand movements.

We held a condolence gathering on the 16th of July to keep the memory of Gauri alive and give the community a chance to grieve and celebrate the short but bright life of this child.

The physical absence of Gauri will never erase the sweet memories of her life. Long live Gauri in the hearts of all.

Sister Arpan Carvalho

Arise India Coordinator

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