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The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World by Roger Thurow

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chapter nine

“THE CHILD IS NO LONGER HERE”

ALL OF SHIVGARH WAS BUSY WITH THE WHEAT HARVEST IN early 2014. Mohana had just returned from the fields and was sitting on the floor of her veranda, separating the chaff from a pile of wheat. She was wearing a dull green sari; one corner partially covered her face. On the charpoy beside her, a child slept, covered by a brown shawl. The figure looked too big to be Sarita, who would have been about six months old. And it looked too small, I thought, to be the next oldest child, three-year-old Lakshmi.

“How’s the baby?” I asked Mohana, through a translator with the Community Empowerment Lab. Mohana didn’t reply.

We tried again. “Where’s the little one?”

Mohana looked up from the wheat. In Hindi, she said, ...

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