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 The first time I heard her name, it was nothing but a deep curiosity to meet her. My little sister told me about her, the love, the care and the naughtiness that Jenny’s tiny eyes had behind their sparkle. I could not make out then that Jenny was one of the cute ones who were left on the streets to make a life in a manner that she would certainly not have preferred.

Then, I met her – my sweet little Jenny. One of her legs had been damaged. I heard that story too from my sister who has known Jenny since she was born on a warm day in the latter half of 2009. With an injured leg, she was left outside to face the harsh and cold winters of Ahmedabad. It was only the members of ASHA, an NGO in the area, who cared about this little life initially. They came in their van one cold morning and treated her and gave medicines for her recovery. The kind security personnels of the school in our neighbourhood used to take baby Jenny inside each night and made her cozy warm beds of rugs to hasten her recovery.

By the time I met Jenny, she was a young urchin with an angelic face which could lighten any heavy heart of the passers-by who thought of her clan as dangerous. Limping on her legs, she used to follow my sister (and me whenever I was there) for the little helpings of meager meals which were rare treats for her.

I still remember that cold night when we took a bag of food to Jenny and her friends. We went to the stairs where they always slept and called out. As quietly as she could, she climbed down the steely stairs and ate the contents off the pavement. Yes, I felt attached to her.

Trained on the streets and living off the scraps, Jenny was different from the others. I saw her taking care of her new-born siblings some time ago. She was always cautious that they did not venture out in the bustling traffic. A call from my sister was all that was required if any commotion broke out amidst them. Following my little one back from school, listening to all the stories shared, no one could ever dislike my Jenny.

I was home a few days ago to see my young one very disturbed. Without any of the normal havoc, there was some mechanization in the way things were happening at home. Then I heard that heart breaking news – Jenny had been run over at night… We would never be seeing those bright and loving eyes again. Two nights previously, an irresponsible driver had recklessly handled his vehicle to cause this bereavement. Our Jenny had left us all.

My sister remembered that there was a huge hue and cry that night and she had called out to Jenny to calm down as she was always the first one to pick up fights. Nobody imagined that it was after the cruel act of a heartless creature. The watchman of the ATM near Jenny’s hang out had even tried to track the speeding murderer. But, who cares to stop and bother about a little and worthless life of the street… Still, I am unable to digest the fact…

This is not just about Jenny, but about the millions of street lives and their counterparts to whom the society is too busy to share a thought. I cry for I knew Jenny. What if I did not? I would just read the news in a local newspaper (even that sounds remotely possible) and carry on with my described schedules. From her stands, the innocent face and the love that she shared is beyond comprehension. Jenny’s only fault was that she came from the streets and lived there. She had suffered for no fault of hers. Even she had the right to live – how many of us realize and understand that? I doubt…