Kids work in kilns to carry on studies

Manoj Shrestha

Biratnagar, January 11:

A ten-year-old second grade student of Saraswati Secondary School Shekh Mohammad Nizam of Jhodaghat VDC-10 Morang has been working in a local Jaya Ganesh Brick Factory for two years. He earns five rupees for working from eight in the morning to 12 noon.

Another Pardeshi Khan, 12, Nizam’s classmate, works with him and earns ten rupees everyday.

And after they finish their work at the brick kiln they go to the school. They say they do this to meet their educational expenses. “I work at the kiln from eight in the morning to 12 noon and then go to the school,” says Nizam. Khan goes to the kiln with his father Narayan and mother Rama.

Phakani Devi Rajbanshi, also of a school going age, works in the same brick kiln but does not go to school. She had to quit her studies when she was in the fourth grade because her father Patru Rajbanshi could not bear her expenses.

Nearly 15 per cent of the total labourers in the Jaya Ganesh Brick Kiln are children and of them 25 per cent are of school going age and 10 per cent go to school. A staff of the brick kiln revealed that they recruit children instead of their parents because they cost much less.

Another staff Tika Ram Chaudhary says most the children were compelled to work because of the weak financial condition.

The kiln owner Gopal Acharya said that the children were never forced to work there but they came either on their own or on their parents request. Morang CDO Yograj Upadhyaya expressed concern over the exploitation of children at the brick kilns and assured of action against such wrongdoers if any complaint is filed.