Stepping Out to Build



Akka, can I tell you a joke?” she asks, pulling out a neatly-folded newspaper from her backpack.

“Okay, sure,” I respond.

“What do you call security guards outside a Samsung store?” she continues eagerly.

“Hmm… I don’t know. What?”

“Guardians of the Galaxy!” comes her answer.

Lavanya, all of 10 years old, with bright eyes and a pixie haircut that perfectly fits her slight frame, continues to read from the newspaper. It’s time for another joke.

Jokes that she doesn’t always get. Lavanya is one of 23 girls at an orphanage in Bangalore. She lives in a two-bedroom house with chirpy posters and plastic chairs, a couple of old cupboards and shelves weighed down by 23 heavy backpacks. She’s probably never seen a Samsung Galaxy S6. She’s probably never heard of Star Wars. But whether she gets the joke or not, Lavanya is keen to share a few laughs with me.

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