Today I would like to once more introduce you to another child of our school. His name is Vinod and with his ten years, he is the youngest of seven children. The family lives in a poor area of Vrindavan and, as it is normal for a lot of families there, the oldest two daughters were married already at a very young age!
Vinod’s father is a daily labourer, searching for work every day. If he finds work, he earns money. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t bring anything home. Vinod’s sister tells that a lot of days, he doesn’t find work and on others, he doesn’t even go out to search. That’s how they think approximately eight to ten days a month, he earns money – obviously much too little to make ends meet with a family of nine!
That’s how the family has two cows whose milk they can sell. Right now however, they are both not giving milk, with one being pregnant and needing more food the usually! That’s an extra burden on the family – but they are hopeful that in two months, they will have lots of milk to sell.
At least they don’t need to pay any rent, as they inherited the house from Vinod’s grandparents. It has three rooms – one of which is used for storing food for the cows, another one for the cows to sleep in and a third one in which they keep all their belongings – but not their beds. The family sleeps outside.
Nobody in the family is fully sure about the age of the family members. The eldest two daughters however, are already married. We meet the second-eldest and are told that she may be 18 years old. The mother objects: No, she has been married for ten years! We think this would mean she would be older – but we hear that she was already married when she was ten or twelve years old! So that would make her no older than 22 years – and you can see that she is still young!
Vinod has two more sisters and two brothers. Three of these are out of school already but although the boys are already nineteen and sixteen, they don’t go to work or bring home any money!
Finally, the youngest is Vinod and the mother puts her hopes on him and our school: if he learns properly there, she says, he will go and earn more money than his father!
We hope we can help this wish come true by giving this jolly boy a good education, completely free of cost for the family!