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Building A New Future

© Omesh Matta/ UNICEF/ 2008

Rajasthan: Minarul Haque Mondal did not know of life outside his work in a brick factory. Since the age of four, when his family migrated from Assam to Rajasthan, Minar was sucked into the labour force.

When he returned to Assam with his family after seven years, his father decided to send him to school. However, Minarul was denied admission on the grounds that he was overage (he was already 11).

Minarul’s parents are so happy with his progress that they are willing to make any sacrifice to enable him to continue his education. They have even stopped migrating for work so that Minarul does not have to drop out of school.

When Abdul Matin of Shishu Adhikar Suraksha Samiti, a NGO working for children heard about it, he asked Minarul’s parents to send him to the residential bridge course camp (RBCC) at Halakura in Dhubri district. At first, his parents were not ready but they finally agreed after being told about the benefits of education.

After 13 months in the RBCC, Minarul was mainstreamed into Class V at Kathaltali M.E School. Since then he has successfully continued his education. Now he is in Class VII and wants to become a teacher once he completes his education. His ambition is to help other children like him.

As the first learner of the family, Minarul has inspired his parents to enroll his younger brothers and sisters in school as well. They say that they have realised education will help their children to have a better future.

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