When a poor Family mortgage their Home for the Dowry of a Daughter – Our School Children – 5 Sep 14


Today I would like to introduce you to two children of our school: Aakash and Rani. They have only been in Vrindavan for a bit more than one year – but they have already moved several times!

Rani is nine years old and the second-youngest child of the family. Aakash is the youngest of the six children – and the only boy. Once more it is obvious that mother and father tried to have a son, just as often as they needed to for getting one.

This outdated thinking is also the reason, the base for their difficult situation now! Their eldest daughter turned 18 last year and shortly after her birthday, they arranged her marriage. For giving her a dowry however, they needed to take a mortgage on their field – their only source of income until that point!

They got approximately 830 US-Dollar for their field by a farmer who has his own field close-by. Until they pay back 500 Dollar of that, he will use their field as his own. They came to Vrindavan empty-handed and with the three youngest of their children in order to earn their field back. The two elder daughters stayed with their grandparents in their village in central India.

The hopes were high for coming to Vrindavan – but it didn’t turn out as easy as they thought. Through a relative, they found a contractor for whom Rani’s father could work. The builder for whom they were working soon made them an offer: he had a house which had been built a while ago. They could live in there, if they cleaned it and took care of it. They wouldn’t need to pay rent in exchange. Obviously they agreed. Rani’s mother additionally cooked for an elderly woman living close-by, to earn some extra money.

Then the house got sold. The builder transferred them to another one. And another. When we met them, it was the third house within a year which they moved to when it was dirty, cleaned and finally left. A great deal for the builder – and they accepted whatever they could get for free!

After moving, the family’s mother could not however go that far to cook for the elderly lady and thus had to take up a job on her own. She started doing labour with her husband, even though she felt sore every evening after the hard work.

Until now, they have not been able to save any money. Earning about 150 US-Dollar in a month, they had to send some money to the children’s grandparents who took care of the other kids. And of course the regular expenses of eating, clothing and so on. They are just happy about one thing: our free school where their two youngest could start in the two pre-school classes, without them having to pay a single Rupee!

We, in turn, are happy that we can help Aakash and Rani, two bright children, to build a better future for themselves through education! You can help us supporting them: Sponsor a child or the food for a day for the children of our school!

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