Today I would like to introduce you to two boys who have joined our school in this year: Lokesh, eight years old, and Kaushal, six years old. We visited their home in summer and although all our children are poor, these two are definitely from one of the poorest families we know.
Reaching their area, we have to ask around to find their home, as their father is not picking up the phone to help. Soon, a lady knows whom we want to visit and calls another woman, who is just now walking by, herding cows and buffaloes in front of her. We get to know that this is the boys’ mother and walk with her until we reach their house.
Well, if you can call this one small room with a tin shed in front a house. Whatever you call it though, it is the home of Lokesh, Kaushal, their elder sister, younger brother and two parents. They inherited the home, one room, twelve years ago and have since then only managed to extend it by three walls, one of which is not properly cemented, and a tin sheet on top. This tin sheet already has several big holes which let rain come in and soak the family’s belongings.
Obviously it is due to the low income of the family father that they could not do more yet. They have a small field but it requires much work and doesn’t give enough harvest to actually live off it. That’s how he also has to do labour work in order to earn enough to at least make ends meet. His wife helps as much as she can by herding the cows she was with when we met her.
On top of this all, their eldest daughter has a very serious health issue: from birth, she has two urinary systems, two wombs but, according to the woman ‘nothing of the things that should be in the belly’ or ‘no way for the stool’. So as far as we know, she is missing a big part of the digestive track. That’s how they had to have a surgery done, during which doctors put a pipe, an exit for digested food, on the side of the girl’s belly. That’s all that can be done, according to doctors. Usually, she would have a bag at the side which she would empty and then exchange but the family doesn’t have enough money for that. One bag would cost about a third of the money they have available for living! Additionally, taping the bag there and removing it caused the girl a lot of pain. So they only put cloth there, wrapped around her belly, which the mother regularly exchanges.
You can already imagine that this family does not have the financial means to send their children to an expensive private school. Not even a cheap one! It is a great relief for them that Lokesh and Kaushal can go to our school now completely for free!