“I miss my father. I was about seven when he passed away. And everything kept on getting tougher. My mother would cry a lot. Some days we would eat just once in the whole day. I have four brothers and three sisters. All of us started farming in the small piece of land we had. My mother too goes away for days. She goes to the big nearby cities where she works as a farm labourer. I used to stay at home with my sisters and helped them in the household chores. I was good in studies but had to drop out when I was in second standard.”
“It was not possible to work at home and then go to school also. My mother also got very sad that I had to leave my studies. In the next few years I also started going to the cities with my mother. I started helping her out in the farms and most of the time would help in the potato cultivation. But my story has changed.”
“I’ve started going to school again!! This could only happen because of the centre that opened in our village. It’s a centre for children who have had to drop out from school. The teachers came to my house so many times. They convinced my mother and me that I should learn and not earn at this age. And education could one day help us live a better life. My brothers and sisters too supported my journey back to school. At the centre, the teachers helped me to bridge the gap in studies and I was very fast in picking up. I am now studying in the sixth standard. And I am very happy,” little Sona from the Kotra district of Udaipur (Rajasthan) will give you a dazzling smile once she finishes her story. She’s almost breathless. But you cannot miss the twinkle in her eyes!
Eleven year old Sona is one amongst the hundreds of child labourers from the tribal dominated Kotra district. Being one of the backward districts and plagued by poverty, this district sees huge migration to nearby states like Gujarat every year, with children being a sizeable population. With the support CRY partner Kotra Adivasi Sansthan, we are making an attempt towards curbing the problem of child labour through setting up of Child Activity Centres. The purpose is providing remedial education to the children who are either out of school or on the verge of dropping out and facilitate their enrolment back to school.
You can help us bring more children back to school. Visit bit.ly/LearnNotEarn today!