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Sonam Sharma is one of eight people living in a modest 10 x 10 home in the slums of Kolkata, India. She attends two schools-one formal school and another school run by a local NGO to support her formal education. Sonam is part of a whole community of children who work and attend school to break the cycle of poverty for their families.

Photo by: Danny Bull

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Sonam plays with classmates at Beniyapukur Nabodisha Center-a small school run by an NGO responsible for encouraging the local children to attend school. Many of the children would be at home working if not for the efforts of the teachers who work there. As part of this program, children of all ages receive tutoring and free lunch.

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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At Beniyapukur Nabodisha Center, children of all ages come in different shifts to receive one-on-one tutoring and free meals if their families cannot afford to feed them at home. When they have finished their work, the children gather outside to sing, dance, and play.

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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A rickshaw driver hauls its passengers in the blistering Kolkata sun.

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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Early morning in a low-income neighborhood, Kolkata, India. Many children do not attend school despite the new amendment which requires all children to attend primary school. Despite the number of children who fall through the cracks, India is vastly improving its enrollment of children in schools.

Photo by: Danny Bull

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Children playing at Beniyapukur Nabodisha Center

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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Sonam plays with friends at formal school. She attends this school in the morning and then walks to informal school with her classmates to have lunch and receive tutoring.

Photo by: Danny Bull

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Classroom in Devendra Bidyapith school for girls.

Photo by: Danny Bull

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Sonam and her family live in a 10x10 home in the slum of Kolkata. Despite this, her family is working towards improving their financial situation. Her older brother and sister have both completed their education and are now working for the civic police. Sonam and her younger siblings are on the same path and help their mother making shoe laces when they are not at school.

Photo by: Danny Bull

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Locals bathe in the Ganges because it is said to have healing powers over the body and spirit.

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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Sonam's mother is setting an example for her six children by sending them to school. In doing so she is ensuring a better life for children and her future grandchildren.

Photo by: Lauren Santa Cruz

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Sonam Sharma, a seven-year-old girl living in the slums of Kolkata, goes to two different primary schools and makes shoe laces before and after school. Many children from this slum work to help their families survive and not all parents allow their children to go to school at all. The Sharma family understands that primary education is an investment in their daughter's future.