Today I would like to introduce you to Yogmaya, 12 years old, and Neeraj, 10 years old.
Yogmaya and Neeraj have an elder sister of 13 years and a younger brother of eight years. Their elder sister tells us that she went to school until she was in 3rd class but as she did not really understand what the teachers were teaching, she left school. She doesn’t miss it though – she just helps her mother at home and is content with that. Yogmaya, now in 4th class, is already much further than her sister ever was and even Neeraj in first class is more confident in reading and writing than she is.
The children’s father is a labourer, working with bricks. He loads the tractors that bring thousands of bricks to construction sites every day and unloads them there again, brick by brick. It is heavy work and every day he has to find an employer again. In the evening, he will be paid for the day’s work. If he didn’t find work, there is no money.
For such cases, the family got themselves a buffalo cow, calculating that they would be able to sell the milk and have some extra income. However the cow had not conceived again after giving birth to the last calf two years ago! Now she only gave one liter milk a day – so they just use that at home for their own ghee, yoghurt and for the children to drink.
The buffalo cow is currently standing on a piece of property that the family bought years ago in hopes of building a proper house there. The one in which they are now, is just one room made of bricks with a front entrance covered by tin. Their entrance door is a curtain made out of a blanket. Yogmaya even tells that she and her sister don’t sleep there but instead in her grandfather’s house. Because he has a fan in his home. They don’t.
When looking at their home, we know exactly that these are the people for whom we are running our school. The children who could not afford another school and need ours in order to get education at all. Yogmaya is quite good in school, although she talks a lot. Neeraj does a whole lot of nonsense and accordingly are his marks but both of them are improving and teachers know how important it is for them to learn. We will bring knowledge into their minds which will help them build a better future for themselves.