Kynja Babha is a five-year-old girl in the faraway village of Khrang in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. She is the daughter of a broom cultivator, from a below poverty line (BPL) family. Her father has a small farm down the slopes on the edge of the village. Kynja has three sisters and one brother – she is the third child. She studies in the nursery class at the anganwadi centre in Khrang, implemented under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme of the government of India. The 15-year-old anganwadi is run by a single teacher, Teresa Shabong, for the last seven years.

Attired in a torn frock and oversized gum-boots, Kynja spends a day at the anganwadi centre .

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja arrives at the anganwadi with an orange colour bag strapped over her head. In the bag, she has a slate to write on and a steel plate to have her mid-day meal

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

The teacher, Teresa Shabong, has written the Khasi numerals and alphabet on the blackboard. She watches with pride as Kynja, her brightest student, reads them aloud 

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja’s friend carries in her little brother to attend the anganwadi classes

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Teresa distributes pieces of chalk to the children for their class work 

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Sitting all by herself in a corner of the classroom, Kynja does her work rapidly 

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja , still busy with her classwork 

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja is the first in class to run to the teacher to show what she has written on the slate

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Teresa teaches Kynja a new word

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

The teacher asks the children to recite a rhyme; Kynja leads the group

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Mid-day meals are a huge incentive for children to attend the anganwadi

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Helped by her teacher, Kynja washes her hands before the mid-day meal is served

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja is very hungry: 'Why aren’t they washing their hands quickly?'

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Teresa Shabong serves the food

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja eats with her friend

PHOTO • Abhishek Saha

Kynja Babha finishes her meal. Her day at the anganwadi has come to an end