Shiv Patel – Affectionate and expressive, 14 year-old Shiv comes to school each day along with 3 brothers and 1 sister, leaving another 3 siblings at home. He is especially gentle and demonstrates a warmth that challenges the harshness of his experience growing up. Although he went to the government school before coming to BSS, he was not able to learn much there because the school operated more as a day care, with children playing and teachers attempting to mind them.
At BSS, Shiv says that he is able to get a good education. He is decisive that his favorite subject is Hindi, an unusual choice that demonstrates a character of independence. He enthusiastically describes his love for reading Hindi stories, and easily suggests one of his favorites for me to read. His appetite for study is evident: when Shiv’s mother tried to take his younger sister out of school in Class 1, Shiv took the advice of BSS’s teachers and convinced her to send his sister to school. He says that he would like to study to become a doctor.
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