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Shareef : A helpless child struggling to save the childhoods

Shareef is 14 years old who lives in a hay hut in Bichhia forest village of Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh with his mother-Hasrat Jahan (widow), three brothers and two sisters. His elder brother lives in Gujrat and work as a daily wage earner. He sends some money in a gap of 3-4 months. His father expired a year ago. After his father’s death, bread earning for his family was the responsibility of Hasrat Jahan and Shareef. Under the CRY supported project, DEHAT has facilitated a process for BPL cards and Hasrat Jahan also given a BPL Card. This card helps her to get ration on subsidized rate. But the life is not that easy. To earn for the family, Shareef has started working in Central State Farm (Operated under Ministry of Agriculture) at the wage of Rs. 40/- per day after hard work of 10 Hours. Under DEHAT efforts to make the village ‘Child Labor Free’, DEHAT Team members met his mother many times and to motivated her to send Shareef in the NFE (Now Primary School) and not on work. But she always refused because of her helplessness. Finally, the team members got successful in convincing her that an educated person can earn more money in comparison to an un-educated person. Shareef joined NFE in September 2010 and attended NFE regularly in Bhawanipur After six months, suddenly he dropped out of school and started working as street hawker selling Ice-cream. DEHAT team again contacted his mother. She told that his elder brother have not sent money since last 10 months due to which livelihood of the family has become very difficult. Without Shareef’s earning, the family cannot survive. The BPL survey has never been conducted in the forest, as they live in forest there is no BPL list and without BPL List, not a single benefit can be provided for livelihoods of people living in forest. The revenue conversion is under process under Forest Rights Act. But thousands of people like Shareef are helpless and unable to enjoy their childhood as the system is still silent. Efforts are ongoing to mainstream for these children in forest villages.

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