Stories from the centre 2018-21

The children from the centre carry many stories of their own. Each with their aspirations of growth and change. We are now running a campaign to raise funds for their education. If you’d like to contribute, fund this campaign –

“I have 3 sisters and one brother, and my parents work as laborerers in the village. My parents also help the people in the village. Most of the time, the villagers work as laborers and don’t get paid. It’s been a year since I came to the centre. When I was home in my village, I was very unaware about the society I lived in. I didn’t know about the problems that most of my community faced and the rights that we were entitled to. Through the sangatan, I’ve grown to understand the rights of the labors and farmers. Education at the center is a lot more interesting and I get to interact with people. It isn’t rigid like my old village school. My bua (aunt) had trouble with her property and we were on our way to the court. It was then, that my parents stumbled upon a meeting that was conducted by JJSS where they were distributing pamphlets. My parents became a member with JJSS in 2012. My father went to ask for employment under the NREGA scheme but was denied. So, he protested and was supported by over 90 women. The association with JJSS helped succeed the struggle, especially with the help of the information provided in the pamphlet that was first distributed. Soon, more villagers became saathis with the Sangatan.I want to visit new places and understand what’s happening around the world. An ideal world for me is when everyone has equal rights. There shouldn’t be any discrimination on the basis on caste, religion or gender like it’s happening here.” 

“My dream is to become a singer. I want to help the Sangatan and understand the problems of the people around me better.  I also want to find solutions for those problems. An ideal world for me is when we think about the poor and marginalized and help them. People from vulnerable communities should be able to work and earn money. That’s my dream.”

“Rich people exploit the poor and take away all the money. I want to do the kind of work JJSS does here and help people who have been exploited. A lot of children are taken to cities like Delhi for work and rarely come back. We never hear back from them. I want to study social work and become a professional. My family does not have enough money and I know it will be difficult for me to become who I want to because of this.  The environment in my house and my village was never conducive for me to study, that’s why I came to the centre. I’ve been here for 8 months now. I can see a lot of difference in myself ever since I came here. I meet a lot of new people and my older brother helps me study. My dream was to become a cricketer, but I don’t think it’s possible because of where I come from. Given an opportunity, I will definitely give it my best to pursue my dream. An ideal world for me is a place where everyone gets an equal opportunity regardless of their differences and live happily.” 

“My name is Sulochana Kumari and I’m from Katihar. My parents are labourers. The environment in my house not great ever since my sister married into a family of a different caste  . My parents don’t talk to them anymore. My parents didn’t give me the papers I needed to write my exams so I couldn’t finish them. I’m not sure if I’ll get to finish my exams next year. I want learn jangeet ( songs for the people seeking freedom). I’ve faced a lot of problems for many years now. I don’t have support from my family and we don’t have enough money. Initially there was no gender based inequality in my family but my family has now changed after listening to the society. I don’t like the discrimination based on caste at all. I want freedom for women. All women should be given with the freedom to go outside. Girls needs more rights. Until there’s harmony amongst, this world will remain this way. There shouldn’t be differences based on caste or gender.” 

*Update: Sulochna has since this interview been supported by her sisters to get her papers in place, and she will be appearing for her 12th class exams in 2020. She has joined a tuition class to get back to her studies ever since she was forced to leave home.

“My name is Manish Kumar and I’ve been at the centre for the past two years. My mother has been associated with JJSS and my father works as a casual labourer for the forest department. I
was not able to study when I was home because of financial constraints and there were no coaching centers available. So now, I’ve chosen science and I want to become an engineer and help poor people fight for their rights. I want to try to make a better society. To do this, I’ll learn from the Sangatan and tell people around me. There will always be difficulties but you will have to cope up with them. Most of the difficulties I may face in the future will be related to money. The ideal world for me is when people have equal rights and there is no discrimination on the basis of caste or religion.” 

Contributors : Manisha, Gokhul, Dilip, Kushboo and Meera

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