It is time to introduce you to another child of our school and today I will not stop at one: today you will get to know three of our school’s children, two of whom have been at our school for two years and one of whom is very new – but other than normal, the new girl is the eldest of the three!
Poonam is twelve years old and is now in the 2nd class of our school. Her younger brother Nikhil is nine years old and came from the Upper Kindergarten – a preschool class – to the first class in this year. They have another younger brother, but he is still too young to go to school. It is their elder sister Pushpa, fourteen years old, who goes to school now for the first time! She is now in the preschool class that her five year younger brother already passed!
How come this girl has never been to school? The children’s father tells that he admitted her in a school in Vrindavan before, then she went to the village where they come from to live with her grandmother, so she couldn’t go to school. He then admitted her in a school in that village – but she never went.
He says it is her fault. We say it is his and his wife’s. As the parents, they have the responsibility to send their children to school if they want them to learn something and get a better life! That is something a lot of the parents of our school children unfortunately don’t understand!
It is understandable though: they have themselves never been to school! The four children’s father is a security guard and earns about 80 US-Dollars in a month. With 25 Dollars of rent and the normal expenses that you have with four children, he is happy that his wife works as well. She does labour work, daily finding a new job. They never know how much she will make in a month but with this, they get along.
It is not enough for a better living situation though! They live in one room, in a house that has two more rooms, housing another two families like theirs. They all, altogether about 15 people, share one shower, one roof and one small area to dry their wet clothes on a line.
This all can only change in the next generation, if the children get a solid education, learn reading and writing and thus get the chance to have a better job, to have a better income and have more money available. Our school is the base for this – and they would not be able to afford another one!
We are happy that Pushpa has decided to start learning, even if it is quite late, and we hope, she will keep up with it!