It is Friday again – time once more to introduce you to our school children. Today, you will get to know two of our newly admitted students of this year: Kanhaiya and Aarti.
These children are the eldest of five kids of their family. They are originally from the surrounding of Vrindavan but some years ago, the family moved to Vrindavan, in the hope of getting more work here. The family father is now motor-rickshaw driver – their monthly income completely depends on how many passengers he finds and how many drives he makes.
This is how their whole life is according to his daily work. If there is more work in a month, they can afford more. If there is less work, they just cannot make as many expenses. Sounds easy and just logical but the practical consequences are saddening: their eldest children, ten and eight years old, cannot go to school. There are months when they have the money for the school fees and then there are months when they don’t. You cannot send your child to school for a month and then leave him or her at home for the next! They tried to admit them in a school before but of course it didn’t work out.
That’s how the family tried to do as much as they could: they send the kids to tuition, making them learn what the others were repeating. The rest of the day, they simply played at home. When we arrived, they were wearing only half of their clothes, had uncombed hair and looked simply wild. We were surprised to find out that they knew the English alphabet and basic counting – they would have a good start in our school!
They did! In the lower and upper pre-school class of our school, they sit and learn and although Kanhaiya is among the loudest students of the class, he also learns well and the teacher cannot complain about his efforts!
Kanhaiya is marked for life by an accident when he was three years old. The family had gone to a wedding. Kanhaiya was playing when nearby the terrible thing happened: a gas cylinder exploded, burning half of the little boy’s skin. For three months he was in hospital, the doctors struggling to save his life.
Obviously, the parents were more than happy when he survived – but they had to take a loan from friends and family members to pay his medical bill. They spent the years following that accident paying off their debts.
Now they have to live, day by day, three daughters, two sons and the parents, on a minimal income. But at least one worry is gone: their children can finally go to school! In our school, they can learn and eat completely for free – and we hope they will see much better days ahead!