the doors of Sharada Sadan were ready to open. Standing in her room before the ceremonies, Rama gazed at two photographs. In her left hand Rama held a picture of Frances Willard, one of many American mentors. In her right, Ajibai, the elderly nun who loved Rama but didn’t accept her mission, looked at the photographer with a stern face. I wonder who’s right? Frances who forged ahead through every obstacle, or Ajibai who lived a life confined by convent walls? Rama put the pictures back on the dresser on either side of her small mirror and looked at her own face. Rama shook her head, smoothed her white muslin sari, and said a small prayer.
“Today Sharada Sadan, named in honor of Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom, opens its doors to high caste widows and other girls so their lives can be transformed through education. May it be so.”
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