‘The Why-Why Girl’ is an inspiring story written by the Jnanapith award winning writer Mahasweta Devi.
Moyna belonged to a tribal community called Shabars. They were poor and did not own land. The Shabars did not usually send their daughters to work. But Moyna’s had to work because Moyna’s mother had a bad leg and so couldn’t walk properly. Her father had gone to Jamshedpur in search of work and her brother Gora, went to the forest every day to collect firewood. Moyna cannot go to school because she has to tend the goats, collect the firewood, fetch the water and do other works of the landlord. Moyna never thanked the landlords for giving left over rice. She is so full of questions that the postman calls her the ‘why – why girl’. Moyna was barely ten years old when the narrator found her chasing a cobra. She dragged Moyna into the Samiti office, where her mother works.
One day Moyna went to narrator’s house to live with her, with a set of clothes and her pet mongoose. She asked the narrator countless questions including why she reads book before going to sleep.-The narrator replied that reading is a way of finding answers to all her questions. At that moment Moyna decided to go to school and find answers to all her questions. At last Moyna became a teacher of primary school en¬couraging students to ask questions. Moyna is an inspiration and motivation for all of us.