“Where is Papai?” a concerned teacher asks aloud. Her colleague laughs and points to a small hunched figure nested beneath a wooden picnic table. Papai squats like a tree frog and wears a mischievous smirk on his face. “He has a tendency to hide when we are not watching,” his teacher grins.
Papai emerges from beneath his tiny lair. He has no eyes, a deformity since birth, and lived his first few years of life with his family who thought him accursed. Unwilling to give proper care, they relinquished him to the Calcutta Blind School where he now enjoys a safe and loving refuge, as well as a special education and medical care.
Papai has blossomed since his arrival. The first few days at the school, he barely moved, but little by little, he found his feet and confidence. Now he moves so freely that with a turn of the head, you might find him scaling the stairways or swinging upside down from a chair. No matter where he is, he wears an enormous grin, a sign that this little wanderer is finally comfortable in a place he calls “home.”