Today I would like to introduce you to two brothers, Ganesh and Naresh, who are six and nearly five years old. They are half-orphans, as their father died in a motorbike accident in April 2015. Their life did not change very much due to that though – because they have always been living with their uncle anyway.
It is the uncle who brought the boys for the school’s admission. It is his home that we visit, as the boys are living there. It is one dark room that the man is renting for himself, his grandmother and his two nephews. During the day, his third nephew, Ganesh and Naresh’s younger brother, who is only two years old, often joins them there as well and plays with his great-grandmother.
The mother leaves the boys there. From the very beginning, there was trouble within the marriage. The boys’ father was a drinker, which often caused fights in between the couple. She would accuse him of spending all the money he earned on alcohol – and sometimes just left her husband and her kids in Vrindavan, escaping to her family’s home for months at a time. Finally she decided to stay in Vrindavan to go to work herself, when her two sons were still very small. Where should they go?
The grandparents on the mother’s side are far away and there is no grandmother on the father’s side anymore. Their father’s father lives somewhere else and nobody actually has good relations with him. Apart from that, he has his own work so couldn’t take care of the children either. That leaves one place: the father’s brother, who is also taking care of their grandmother, Ganesh’s great-grandmother.
He took the children in as if they were his own. When the boys’ mother was gone for months or just for work, he was the one who took care of them. He is unmarried and has no children of his own but has taken the complete role of a father for his nephews. The mother has seen this in the past years and that’s how she has no problem in asking him and the old lady to babysit the toddler as well while she goes to work. She seems to have no motherly attachment to the two elder boys at all.
Ganesh’s uncle just manages to make ends meet with his mobile food stall with which he walks through the streets to sell snacks. His monthly income always depends on how much he is able to sell in a day – and is not enough for committing to pay two children’s school fees!
That’s how our school gives these boys a possibility they would otherwise not have had! They can learn here completely for free and additionally get a warm lunch.