Hub of unwanted and troublesome activity becomes a cause for school children’s absence from school. A dilemma faced time and again. Twenty-first century and people despite technology invasion via mobile phones and electronic media, traditions and cultures remain entrenched irrespective of the changing times. Change is never imminent or instant here, eighteen years down the road the struggle continues.
A story this time is a love affair between individuals from opposing clans, a clandestine meeting and all hell break loose, although such liaisons are not unheard of and even accepted. When the family of the woman learns about the meeting, they charged down upon the man who had by now escaped leaving behind a friend who was to keep watch, in case of such a mishap. Unfortunately, the friend was a drug addict and it was not difficult to get a confession out of him. This occurrence of having extramarital affairs is not an unknown phenomenon in the villages, there is a free mingling of the sexes, however, when two different clans are involved it is a recipe for disaster even becomes grounds for murder and enmity.
From 150 students the number comes down to almost half because entire clan moves for fear of reprisal thus starts the end of the beginning. It takes usually a couple of months for the situation to normalize, either because the culprit gets caught or there is amnesty from the victim’s family. It is this scenario that the Khoj School operates, trying circumstances for parents and children. A gap of so many days out of school means extra effort and time.
The resilience shown by the Khoj management is truly remarkable because the gap means extra effort and no amount of cajoling nor reprimand is of help, relentlessly they continue with the remaining students waiting for the absentees to return.
Teachers from Lahore fear going there for work. A recent setback was from an enthused teacher who offered her services at the Khoj School, she was excited at the prospect till she spoke to her family who dissuaded her because they felt it was not safe. Given these circumstances it is amazing how Khoj is surviving there, it can only be reasoned due to the dynamism of the Founder of Khoj - Society for People's Education who come rain or shine dreams of a new tomorrow.