Today I want to introduce you to a child who comes from a home that is always full of life! Why? Because Rukhsar, 12 years old, lives with her six siblings, her parents, her grandparents and four little bunnies!
Rukhsar’s family are Muslims and live in an area in which there is quite a Muslim community and a mosque for them to pray in. It is the house of Rukhsar’s grandparents who also now live downstairs. Rukhsar’s father will inherit the house and lives with his family upstairs. There they have one room, an entrance hall, a kitchen and a roof with a small toilet. It seems spacious – until you realize that nine people live on this space. Obviously a few of them go downstairs to sleep in the grandparents’ area! And in between all these feet, there are three baby bunnies and their mother running around. Fluffy pets that the girls like to take care of!
The eldest of the children is the son who is 16 years old. After that, there are the six girls: 14, 13, 12, 9, 7 and 6 years old! It is thus a household of eleven people and it is currently run by the income of the father and the son. The son does welding work and the father makes clothes for Hindu deities. Each of them earns about 80 US-Dollar a month. It is hardly enough and so the eldest girls make anklets which are sold at a cheap cost, 2 Rupees each. While the 14- and 13-year old sit there and make them, their younger siblings often join them. That’s how even the youngest one contributes in the family income!
The eldest two daughters don’t go to school and have never gone. Their parents tell us ‘Their mind doesn’t work!’, saying that they went to school but were not able to follow. When we talk with them, their mind works very well – and it’s a pity that they could never enjoy going to school, for whatever reason that may be! Rukhsar is the first one to go to school and we told the family to also send the other three girls to us!
We talked with Rukhsar’s father about possibilities to earn more money, to maybe start a business of his own – but he explained that the money that he would need to save and put into that would better be saved for the dowry of his girls. After all, he will have to marry all six of them!
We will do our best to support this family and also teach Rukhsar’s younger sisters! Rukhsar herself is good at school. She is a quiet girl that doesn’t talk much and is very attentive. And we are sure that she will one day be able to earn money on her own – and not by making anklets!