A basket of bricks could not weigh down education
Imagine being surrounded by water in the mid sea and being left with salt water. You would very likely give up on having clean water anymore. Bandhana Urav, a migrant brick kiln worker was no different when it was only despair and poverty that surrounded him and his family. His wishes to educate his children melted away like that of a melting brick.
Bandhana a 32 years old migrant worker from scheduled caste community of Pungi village of Gaya district migrated to Maner in Patna in the absence of livelihood opportunities at his home district. He lives with his wife and three children, two daughters aged 5, 4 respectively and son, 2.
Lack of frontiers for education such as school or anganwadi centres, left the children spending their time with their parents at brick kilns in hazardous surroundings.
Deep inside of him, Bandhana knew this was not what he wanted for his children. As a responsible parent, he wanted his children to go to schools for a better life and future. He keeps moving from one place to another place for livelihood and to make matters worse he has not been able to find external support or education benefits at any brick kiln for his children’s education from government institutions.
His hopes and wishes did not find realization until Aide et Action program- Childcare and learning centre for migrant children was started at Vyapur area of Maner. During the survey by the team, Bandhana’s two children Priyanka and Prerna were identified as out of school children. They were admitted in one of the CCLCs at Brick Klins. But again problems came in front of Bandhana when he realised the centre was situated at a distance of 800 meters from his hut. Hence the little children were unable to attend the classes at centre. Both the children refused to come to centre due to the distance. Then he mustered the courage and didn’t want this opportunity to go away. Finally, he decided to get the children to the centres.
An empty basket was all that Bandhana must have had. But he knew that an empty basket could not stay idle when fruits were available few kilometres away. Now, he uses the same basket he used to carry bricks to escort his children to the centre. He reaches the centre at 9 in the morning and goes back to his work and comes back at 2 in the afternoon to get them back home.