Monday, 22 September 2008

Little Crusader - Devli Kumari

Devli Kumari when she was 8 years old Devli Kumari is anxious about her forthcoming trip to New York – not about addressing the United Nations General Assembly on child labour, but because she fears her name may be struck off the school rolls if she takes longer than the five-day leave sanctioned to get back.
The 11-year-old Jodhpur girl, born in a family of bonded labourers who worked as stone-cutters, began work at four. The family of six would wake at 3 am every day, and work in stone quarries at Charkhi Dadri in Bhiwani district of Haryana till 9 pm. For this, they were given a kilo ( about 2 pounds) of flour once in two days.
“As soon as a child was able to clasp a hammer, he/she was made to break stones and load them on trucks”, she says, rubbing a scar on the back of her left hand. “A stone once fell and I got hurt.”
Till they were rescued in 2004, Devli and her family had never eaten a fruit or lived in a shelter with electricity. “They asked me what kind of potato the banana was when I offered one to them. Onions and potatoes were all that they used to eat,” recalls Kailash Sathyarthi, the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, (Save Childhood Movement) the organisation that rescued Devli and her family.
They now live in accommodation provided by the Jodhpur district administration. Devli studies in Class 5 in Jodhpur's RSI Adarsha Primary School. Her track record is impressive - in 2004, she spoke at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, and in 2005 she attended the second World Children's Congress on child labour and education. “I want to learn English, I want to study till I'm at least 16 and become a teacher when I grow up,” she says. “It's considered a great thing in our community if you can read the numbers of buses and trains so that you are able to go where you want to on your own. And it's also easier to get a job if you're educated…" she then turns to her supervisor to tell her she wants to wear jeans and a t-shirt as well as a salwar kameez “but not without a chunni” for her UN meet. ( a salwar - kameez is a traditional Indian dress for ladies, it consists of a long shirt and loose pants, a chunni is a long scarf)
This article has been taken from the Hindustan Times newspaper -parenthesis mine.
A family of 6 surviving on a pound of flour a day with some potatoes and onion. Did not know what a banana wasThis is the world we are living in.This kind of story first makes me angry, then gives me hope.

Praise God, today my mother is much better.

She had some fruit juice and food.She 'll get over it.

Thank you for your prayers.

18 Fertilize my soul:

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Amrita,
It is really so sad to hear stories like that of Devli. How corrupt people are exploiting child labor and how pitiful their wages are. These people must be put behind bars and ostracize by society. Praise the Lord that your mother is getting better. I will be praying for her. Thanks for the moving post. God bless you and your loved ones always my friend.

Natalie said...

i cannot even comprehend that life...
she is a strong girl...

i pray she accomplishes her goals and that by speaking out , this type of atrocity will stop.

Donetta said...

Hi Sweet heart! I am so glad to hear your Mother is better. It is a good thing to stop these slave laborers. Poor kid. She will make a great difference in things I trust.
I wonder how you are? I have so little slack time with my duties. One day your Mom will go home. Ready your heart. You will still be you. Will anything change with your provisions or shelter? Amrita, you are you and a wonderful beautiful woman. Your weakness is a glow with his strength. I know you must be tired the road has been hard. Remember to matter to yourself. be kind to you.

Julia Dutta said...

Thanks Amrita for this post. Its wonderful to say the least! Unless, someone helps or mediates to change the lot of of the deprived in our society nothing really happens. But what is really heartening is when the same people rise up and are motivated to change the course of their own lives like Devli Kumari.
Julia

Lille meg said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comments to me.
And thank you for this post.
I love this figure in your sidebar:
"I love my computer, because my friends live in it".
I want to ask you to copy it? May I?
It was so nice!
Have a blessed day, and thank you again for visiting me...

Amrita said...

Yes friends Devli is such a brave and strong child and she is one of the more fortunate ones. There are millions more who are still in darkness.

Go ahead Lille Meg you can take any picture from my side bar. You are welcome.

Lille meg said...

Thank you so much for that! It was so sweet.

~Robin said...

God bless you Amrita for your heart and passion to endure for the Lord.
hugs~

monsoon-dreams said...

she's a strong girl!thanks for sharing,amrita.
i'm glad ur mom is better.

Bestemor Aud said...

Such stories makes me sad - and hopeful (as you said).
Thank you for nice comments on my blog! I was impressed that your church was about 200 years old. Who brought the gospel to your country at first?
In my country we have inummerable churches, but christianity is going back. They have now taken away the Christian Goal for the basic school. Area after area is being de-christianised. It's a great sorrow for my heart. (Hope you understand my home-made English!)
Last week we got an SMS, appealing for preyar for the southern India. It was spread to all christians in Norway.
We are lycky who can bring all things to our heavenly Father, who cares - and is not far away from his children! And we know that soon (in the end) God's own kingdom will come to our painful world. We already have the victory! Praise the Lord!
Your sister Bestemor Aud.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
you are doing a wonderful work here at the internet, enlightening us about the situation for the underprivileged.
God bless you.
From Felisol

Shari/"Whiger" said...

Aww. What a brave young girl she is. And a quick learner, too. Thanks for sharing the story.

I am glad your mother is doing better.

Sita said...

We've had a young woman in our congregation with a passion for Cambodia give us heartrending stories of child sex slavery there and I have read numerous accounts of child labour/slavery in India and other parts of the world.

It is totally abhorrent to me and I know God is patient and longsufferign not to have wiped manknd off the face of the earth for the atrocities we perpetrate on one another, and especially the innocent.
May God raise up a genaration of young people whose heart beats with His and who will rise up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
So glad Mom is doing better, Amrita. I amsure she is looking forward to her resurrected body. Sunder has been speaking about this recently. Check out my blog for the links to the sermons.
Blessings, dear sister.

Michelle said...

This is why I do what I do....Courageous girl....

KOSTAS said...

Hi Amrita Splendid post,
many of us we believe that the all world is our beautiful neighborhood!
The world would be much better if the money that is given for the defensive equipment it were given for the health, the education and the obliteration of poverty!

Rebecca said...

I am looking forward to hear more about this childs trip and speech and also the outcome for her at home....what a life so many children have....

Rebecca said...

I am looking forward to hear more about this childs trip and speech and also the outcome for her at home....what a life so many children have....

Amrita said...

Devli must have returned from NY. There is nothing in the papers about her.If I hear anything I will post it.