Today I want to introduce you to three children who started learning in our school this year. Poonam, 13 years old, Rahul, twelve years old and Sonu, six years old, are the youngest of six children.
Their father sells vegetables and fruit on a movable stall near the Ashram. You can imagine that this is not work that pays well. If you sell a lot, you get out enough to live. If you don’t, you have a lot of vegetables at home for eating – but nothing to buy clothes or other necessities from! Not to speak of the cost of education for six children!
Nevertheless, their parents have made every effort they thought was right: they insisted that their eldest son should go to school until the end of the 7th class. Now he is 18 years old and helps his father with selling vegetables. The second child, a daughter which is now 17 years old, still goes to school. The third one however, 15 years old, has stopped going to school. She had been going to a state school – and there were no proper classes. When we asked why she didn’t go to the same school her sister went to – a private school – she told us that her father didn’t have the money for that.
That’s how also Poonam and Rahul, who were in the same state school, had not learned as much as they should have by their age. There was just no money for a private school.
It is not only clothes and food for six children which the family’s money is spent on! They bought the piece of land they are living on 25 years ago. When they bought it, there was just one room. One after the other, they built the remaining three rooms and hall downstairs and the stairs up, each time taking loans from neighbours and relatives. They kept on paying back money until it was done – just to borrow money again for the next room.
Being in this constant trouble due to money, the family was very happy to hear of our school. Now the three kids learn with us – and it doesn’t cost the family a penny!