child worker

Ratani and Lakhan too have turned into Dhangars

Jamshedpur: Savar children do make cheap workers. The reason is - they make no fuss and can work very hard. And this is the reason why the villagers of the adjoining areas of Tangrain take the Savar children to their home to employ them in their farms and use them for their domestic work.

Yuva, with the help of Asha For Education, had opened a school - Kislay - for educating the Savar children. And while the Yuva volunteers are trying hard to encourage the Savar children of the area to attend the school regularly, the villagers of the adjoining villages are luring these children and their parents to turn them into "Dhangars(child workers)". This is causing a lot of problems as far as smooth running of the school is concerned.

At the time the school was opened, Yuva volunteers learnt that two Savar children - Surmi Savar and Puja Savar - have been employed as Dhangars in the village. They met their owners and urged them to send the two children to the school. The efforts paid off and Surmi and Pja started attending the school.

Meanwhile, Ratani Savar and Lakhan Savar too were taken away as Dhangars. And this has come as a major setback to Yuva's efforts. Yuva volunteers learnt that Ratani Savar, daughter of Choudhra Savar, was taken to Jojodih village by a person known as Sakla Manjhi.

When, Yuva volunteers went to Jojodih and met Ratani, she said that she works at her owner's house and also looks after their poultry farm. Surprisingly, her employer Sakla Manjhi is a teacher and works in a government school in a nearby village. And despite the fact that he is a teacher, he seemed to be oblivious of the wrong that he was doing by employing a child at his house.

Yuva workers, in the absence of Salka Manjhi at his house, met his wife and other villagers and requested them to send Ratani Savar to the school regularly.

Yuva workers have also learnt that another child Lakhan Savar has been employed as a dhangar by Mangal Manjhi of Tangrain village. Well, Mangal Manjhi is the Pradhan (head) of the Tangrain village. And this complicates things.

The social structure of the area and circumstances are such that nothing can be changed dramatically here. Yuva volunteers would, however, continue their effort to do their best and help as many Savar children as possible in joining the mainstream of education.

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