Towards a Brighter Future: From Brick Kilns to Schools

December 11, 2014 No Comments

Shibbabu loves the moment when the teacher calls up his name and he stands up to say “Present!” during the roll call.

We could not hold back our tears while seeing our son going to school for the first time” say Dhrubalal Munda, Shbbabu’s father. “This was the first time somebody from our family was going to a school” added his mother Giribala.

Education is more often than not a non priority issue for poor parents who consider the manual labour of their children to be of more value for the family, rather considering their future and investing in education. “If we earn today – we live today. We can only see tomorrow if we live through the pains of today.” explains Dhrublal – the basic outlook of parents of children working in the kilns. For generations this has been the outlook towards life and education and as a result for centuries people like Dhrublal has been yoked to poverty – scraping a livelihood through manual labour.

Under scope of the current project, the multi-purpose workers and the members of the children’s groups visited each household to sensitize the parents on importance of sending their children to the MAC as the first step of brining them into the fold of childhood education.  Many like Dhrublal and Giribala were reluctant as sending the child to school also meant loss of income as many like Shibbabu were helping their parents in their work.

“Days are becoming harder each day and finding work is becoming increasingly difficult evenin our native village in Beeda in North 24 Parganas” rues Dhrublal. “Initially, I thought that it would be better if the child can receive some education here and hence I agreed to send Sibu to the centre” he adds.

However, the keen interest of the child in studies – especially mathematics came to light after he was enrolled in the Mojlishpurparuipara SSK in Standard II. This development has forced the parents to sit up and take note of the educational requirements of the children. “We’ll try to ensure that he continues his studies even after we return to our native village” says Dhrublal.

What started as a small step in attending the MAC, can become a giant leap for Shibbabu Munda – where only the sky is only the limit.



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