Today I want to introduce you to two siblings, brother and sister, who have been at our school for two years: Jyoti and Tejveer.
Jyoti is eleven years old and Tejveer ten. They have an elder brother and a younger sister. Their father is a driver and earns about 65 US-Dollars in a month. When asked whether they get along with this amount of money, he answers ‘We have to’. They also have a buffalo cow so that they don’t have to buy milk, butter and fat for cooking. When the cow gives much milk, they can even sell a few liters and earn a bit extra money.
The buffalo cow is thus important to them, to make ends meet and to have some more money in order to buy things outside the daily routine. At the same time however, it takes not a small amount of money to buy food for this big animal and more than that, it takes space.
While the family of six is crammed in one little room at all weather, the buffalo cow occupies the complete space of their courtyard outside, double the size of the family’s room. The buffalo cow has a place outside for lying in the sun but also a space for standing in the shade.
The family doesn’t complain however – they know that they can be happy that Jyoti’s father has a job and earns money every month instead of trying to find work every day. And they have inherited this house and don’t need to pay rent.
They have enough money to get by but not much more. Throughout the year, they have better months and worse ones. Their house is simple but clean. They are not shockingly poor but one can see by a look at their home, their clothes and their food, that they don’t swim in cash. That they could actually use some more. That they just hope that none of their family members suddenly gets ill and they have to pay medical bills. That they are afraid the father, the only provider, could lose his job. That this all is the reason for their children to go to our free charity school.
Jyoti and Tejveer tell us that they enjoy going to school and have lots of friends there. While Jyoti is a decent student with medium marks, Tejveer had to struggle in the past year to keep up with his classmates. The teachers tell that the reason for this is simple: he just talks too much during lessons!