Kajal is a resilient 16-year-old girl from Jharkhand’s Bishunpur village, where challenges used to loom large, obstructing children's access to education. Situated 22 kilometres away from Koderma district, Bishunpur grappled with rough terrain and lacked adequate transportation facilities, and schools, making education a distant dream for many.
Born into a family entrenched in poverty, Kajal found herself forced into child labour in the mica mines, toiling alongside her parents in the pursuit of survival. The absence of educational facilities beyond primary schools, coupled with the belief that higher education was beyond reach, created formidable barriers.
In July 2022, when we implemented the Bal Mitra Gram programme in Bishunpur, our team identified children like Kajal Kumari, who were engaged in mica collection. We immediately swung into action to withdraw children from the mica mines. Convincing Kajal Kumari and her parents to withdraw her from mica mines was a huge challenge. However, through our team’s unwavering determination and persistence, they came to understand the detrimental impacts of child labour and the paramount importance of education.
A ray of hope emerged in Kajal Kumari's life when she was successfully withdrawn from child labour and enrolled in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV). This was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Bal Panchayat (Children’s Council), our staff, and the district administration.
Kajal’s eyes now gleam with hope of the endless possibilities that lie ahead of her. Many children like Kajal are benefiting from our team’s tireless efforts to create child-friendly communities. Our work will continue until we ensure there is no child labour in these villages.