Her bright smile made it amply clear that little Lidwina Joseph is ecstatic, even if not too verbal about it. No surprises there -- not every day does the head of the Supreme Court of India, no less, write back to a Class 5 student. Chief Justice NV Ramana has done just that to her. What's more, he topped it by presenting her a signed copy of the Indian Constitution.
"Never thought I'll get a reply," Ms Joseph told NDTV during a brief interview. "I'm feeling very happy and very proud."
A student of Kendriya Vidyalaya Thrissur, Ms Joseph had written to Chief Justice Ramana towards the end of May thanking him for a series of orders recently passed by the court in connection with oxygen supply in the country.
"They moved so many orders and saved many lives. I am very happy," she said during the interview.
The Chief Justice wrote back, calling her letter "beautiful" and appreciating the "heart-warming" illustration that she had tagged along with the letter. He was impressed by her understanding of current affairs and concern for others' well-being.
Explaining what prompted her to write such a letter, her father Joseph K Francis said his daughter reads the newspaper regularly and the news of several deaths caught her mind.
"Seeing all the pictures of bodies lined up and being burnt, she shared with me her experience. 'Why aren't people taking any action, why are people dying because of non-availability of oxygen, what is happening in India'…these were the questions she asked me," said Mr Francis, who served the Indian Air Force before retiring and joining the postal department.
A few days later, Ms Joseph also read that the Supreme Court had intervened and things were improving. That made her happy, he said.