Union at work in the Indian village of Palri Mangaliya

This is the story about Madan (12), Swarupi (10) and Dinesh (9). They live in India, in the village of Palri Mangaliya. Their parents, who had worked in a stone quarry from a very young age, died in 2014 due to Silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling small particles of sand or stone. Ever since, Gomti – their married sister who is married and has three children – takes care of her three siblings.

In Palri Mangaliya, the local union RPKNMS (affiliated with international union BWI) is working on the development of child labour free zones. During the child labour free zone household survey, the family of Madan, Swarupi and Dinesh was categorized as ‘requiring immediate attention’, because none of the children was attending school regularly despite being enrolled at the government school. Following the survey, the education mobilisers started talking to the family to assist them especially in ensuring continuation in children’s attendance at the school.

To ensure that the children are taken good care of by Gomti, and to safeguard their inheritance rights regarding their parental property, a meeting was convened in the presence of the village head and the village council members. Thus, an agreement was reached that the eldest daughter and her husband will take care of her younger siblings until they are 18 years old.

It is going very well with the family. All children – also Gomti’s children – go to school. The household head, Shyama Ram, now works in a stone quarry in Palri Mangaliya and is registered with the Rajasthan State Construction Workers’ Welfare Board.  

This project is part of the Stop Child Labour programme ‘Out of Work and into School’, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. For this programme, Stop Child Labour collaborates with local organisations in India, Mali, Nicaragua, Turkey, Uganda and Zimbabwe.