On December 7 we distributed sweaters to keep 56 brick kiln bus riders warm from the morning chill on their way to primary school in Bhanguri village of Hathin block. While uniforms are now provided by the government (thanks to our local partner’s legal advocacy in the area) we provide these children with school bags, notebooks and sweaters to further encourage their academic commitment.
Demonstrating how this project has impacted parents’ thinking about their children’s potential, one migrant from the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh spoke with our project manager, Suraj Kumar. Sukhpal, whose grade 5 daughter Kamlesh has been attending the school in Bhanguri for the last three years, worries that his work in the brick kilns will impede his three children from learning skilled labor. They help him make bricks after school to raise the family’s income, but he now thinks of the long-term consequences. Next year, he says, he will try harder to find work nearer his home so that his children can stay in school there, and won’t need to work in the afternoons to help finance the costs of migrating. (See our February 22, 2011 update to learn how Kamlesh convinced Sukhpal to let her go to school.)
Your support has been critical to making this type of long-term, sustainable change possible in rural India. Thank you so much for being a part of it.
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