Today I would like to introduce you to two boys of our school who have been with us for many years already: Bhanu and Naveen.
Bhanu is 15 years old and goes to the 6th class of our school while Naveen, 13, is in the 5th class. They have an older brother who has lived at the Ashram for a while some years ago, when the family was in bigger financial trouble. Now this brother is living with an aunt in another part of India, learning welding work.
Bhanu and Naveen’s father is a mason and earns about 110 US-Dollar per month. They spend approximately 25 US-Dollar of that for the rent of their little house where they have been living for half a year now. The rent in their previous home was about a third but the landlord had told them to move – he wanted to sell the place. The children are happy about it: there is a big courtyard in front of the house where they don’t only have a place to shower and a toilet cabin but also lots of space to play, run, lie and sleep or fly kites.
When we have a look into their home, we are surprised to see a refrigerator there. Only very few of our children’s families can actually afford buying one. We ask since when they have it – and get to know that it doesn’t work anymore. It is the landlord’s fridge and after it broke, he didn’t bother to throw it away. For the family that is just as fine – they are using it as a cupboard!
It is very obvious that this family does not have much, that they struggle to buy whatever they need at home while sending money to their eldest son to reduce the burden that his aunt has due to him living with her. Still however we notice again, as so often with our school children, that they all seem to be happy and nevertheless enjoying life and being together.
Bhanu and Naveen are both good in their studies but the teachers see quite a difference in their characters: while Bhanu talks a lot and is very social with everyone around, Naveen is more quiet and observes the situation before talking.