Last week I introduced thirteen-year-old Nisha to you, whose father is a marble worker who has not found proper work for about a year. Today it is the turn of Nisha’s cousin Anjali, a twelve-year-old girl who lives in the same house with her parents, two sisters and one brother.
Anjali’s father is Nisha’s uncle, her father’s younger brother. Anjali’s father started earning money already when he was young. He shooed away cows from the grain market so that they would not eat the rice, wheat and other grains that were offered there for sale. He kept on doing this until his family finally insisted that he, too, should learn something that brings more money. He then learned the work with marble by his elder brother.
From that time on they always went to work together and they could manage well until a few years ago when there were more workers in this field and they got less offers for work. Just like his brother, he has been trying to find work for about a year now. They sometimes go to Delhi or Agra but it has been quite a while that they had a proper longer-time possibility to work.
While Nisha and her family live downstairs, Anjali’s family has a room in the first floor of the building. It is even less space than downstairs, because they built one small restroom there as well. Anjali’s mother tells us of this investment: ‘I am happy we could build this toilet but the money was just not enough for the door!’ So they are using a curtain instead. The family of six have to always keep the door to their room closed or, if they don’t pay attention, the monkeys that are jumping from roof to roof in that area will grab their belongings and either make a big mess or steal them altogether.
The tiny place on the roof is used by the children however to do their homework. Anjali and Nisha are both in 4th grade in our school and obviously have an advantage: they can help each other with the things they need to learn for school.
Anjali appears to be a bit more outgoing than Nisha and makes new friends quickly. She is good in school and when we ask her about the half-yearly exams that they are currently writing, she told that she has a good feeling for these as well!
We are happy that she makes good progress in school – it can mean a great future for her, one with some more space in a home, with a kitchen, a place in bed for everyone to sleep and a door on the restroom.