Asha´s story (Girl in Mann Deshi Cattle Camp)
One day I was wandering in our Mann Deshi Cattle Camp and saw a little girl with glasses caring for some animals. It was working all alone, cutting sugarcane to feed the cattle, cleaning cow dung away and giving water to the animals. I started wondering: “Why is she doing everything alone? She looks so fragile with her big glasses, so weak”.
I stopped there and started to ask her all questions that came in my mind. I was curious about her situation and wanted to know more.
She told me that her name is Asha. Eleven years old Asha lives in Bonewadi, a small town with her mother, two sisters, and one brother. One sister is married already and the other sister is going to marry tomorrow (28.06.2012). Because of this marriage, the mother is busy and Asha is left alone to care for the cattle. Her Father died some years ago already due to an illness. Asha is still in school, she attends 6 standards in a local village school in Diwad, 3km away from Bonewadi. She dreams of becoming a doctor after she finished her education.
Every day she has to walk the 3 km to school. After school, she has to feed the cattle and give them water in the Mann Deshi Cattle Camp, 7km away from where she lives. Sometimes one of her cousins drives her, sometimes she can pay a rikshaw but if she has no spare money she has to walk the 7km home. Then at home she has to help her mother in the household. This is her daily routine; every day she goes to school first, then cares for the cattle and then works at home. She starts her day at 7am, works during the day and studies until 10pm in the night.
She wants to become a doctor but how can she do it? How will she have the money to go to university? She does not even have proper time for learning. Why does she have so many problems, why is her live so difficult?
Asha is born in a farmer’s family that own 11 acres of land. Normally from this land they could earn enough money to make a living, but because it did not rain last year and the drought is not new to Mann Taluka, the harvest failed and the family got no income. Her mother works as a wage laborer in Vasai, Thane, and now to earn at least some money for the family. Because both of her sisters are married (or will be tomorrow), young Asha is the only one left to take care of the cattle, the most valuable assets they have left. Asha´s glasses have a power of 8, leaving hear almost blind without them. Having this handicap makes it even harder for her to do all her tasks during the day. Her both sisters married very young; Asha does not like this. She wants to finish her education, become a doctor and only afterwards start a family.
It is a beautiful dream of such a determined young girl.
Looking at her I think:” will it be ever possible for her to become this doctor?”
Mann Deshi Foundation helped Asha by donating bicycle, so that at least she can continue her higher education. We cannot do everything, but can do something with the help of our partners.
Please click below the links of Mann Deshi Cattle Camp:
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