At the age of 14, when most teenagers are busy with studies and friends, Veena* was grazing the landlord’s cattle and doing his household chores. Hailing from the Davangere district of Karnataka, Veena had to drop out of school because her school only had classes till 6th grade and there were no public transport facilities available to reach the secondary school in the next village.
That summer, a village landlord offered her the job of a domestic worker and her parents (who worked as daily wage laborers) jumped at the chance. “What is an education worth if you don’t know where the next meal is coming from?” they said. With the promise of better wages in Udupi at an Areca nut plantation, Veena's parents moved – leaving her behind to work her childhood away; all the while living in the landlord’s cowshed.
Veena's story has changed dramatically, thanks to the timely intervention by Indramma – a community organizer from CRY project PEOPLE. Indramma met with the landlord to convince him to let Veena go and then, spoke to her parents to help them understand why it was important for her to study. Gradually, Indramma’s persistence bore fruit, and she enrolled Veena back in school.
Today, she is on her way to take control of her destiny and make her dreams of becoming a teacher come true!
You can give more children like Veena the chance at a brighter future. Donate to CRY by clicking here.
*name changed to protect the child's identity
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