When Teenagers work as Labourers – Our School Children – 4 Mar 16


Today I want to introduce you to two brothers who have joined our school in the last year: Mukesh and Jitendra. They are brothers and only one year apart from each other but already in the first days after their admission, the teachers noticed that these two boys are quite different from each other!

While Mukesh answered the questions of teachers, worked along well and also started finding friends quite quickly, his younger brother Jitendra didn’t say a word, often only started doing the work teachers told him to do but didn’t finish it, not reacting a lot at all on anything.

Over the course of the past school year however, also Jitendra started working along! The teachers soon noticed that Jitendra did in fact pay attention – he just mainly did not speak a lot. It was not easy but with a lot of attention by the teachers, Jitendra now speaks. On low volume and not much but he does!

Jitendra is nine years old and Mukesh ten. They are the youngest of five children, with two elder sisters and one elder brother. Their brother is the eldest with fifteen years – and he has been going to work and earning money for three or four years already!

The boys’ mother tells that he completed his primary schooling, until 5th class, and then didn’t want to go back to school. That’s how the father decided that better than sitting at home, he could go to work with him and earn some money. Make himself useful and contribute to the family income. The father is a daily labourer who goes to construction sites and brings bricks or sand from one spot to another, simply doing hard manual labour – and he taught his son to do the same already at the beginning of his teenage years.

The eldest daughter doesn’t go to school either. Her mother tells that she, too, is fifteen years old but that her oldest children are not twins. You can see in that already that they don’t exactly know when their children were born. This teenager is thus at home, helping her mother with the household and learning whatever is necessary for being a good housewife.

The next daughter, age 12, goes to school and the mother calls her ‘the most intelligent of the family’. And of course Mukesh and Jitendra.

The income of the boys’ father and brother is obviously not huge. They earn whenever they find work and they try their best to find it regularly. That’s how they can afford the rent for their home and food for the family. School admission fees, monthly fees, exam fees, uniforms and books however would be a huge extra expense. They might try to make it – but they would have to struggle greatly and might even give up, especially with someone like Jitendra who just didn’t seem to take in any information the teacher gave him at the beginning.

We will not give up on him or any other child however – we will help these boys and the other children of our school get a solid primary education which will be the base for further learning! You can help us with this by sponsoring a child or the food for a day!

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