“I didn’t want to study anymore” says Ramesh, now 18, about dropping out of school at the age of 13. He then traveled from his home in Nepal to India to work with his parents. He worked in a candy shop for a few years where the employers treated him badly and kept most of his wages. Wanting to earn more income he came back to Nepal, joining his aunt and uncle working in W. Brick Kiln in Lalitpur district. He carried heavy loads of bricks on his back from 5 AM to 5 PM. Ramesh worked in the physically demanding, health hazardous brick kiln for nearly a year and suffered severe backaches and malnourishment.
Just because Ramesh did not want to study, does not mean he was doomed to the harsh environment of brick kilns for life.
Ramesh now runs a small restaurant, making anywhere from 700-1,000 N.R a day (7-10 USD). Ramesh was able to escape the labor intensive work, that was very strenuous on his small frame, and pursue an alternative career option with the ‘Income Generation’ program run by CONCERN. The program provides financial assistance to individuals to pursue an alternative career. They are also provided vocational training depending on the area they’d like to work in. Ramesh received financial assistance purchasing gas to cook with, utensils, pots and pans.
Ramesh was actually referred to CONCERN by his employer at W. Brick Kiln. CONCERN has a strong interaction program with employers and parents in seven different brick kilns in the two districts of Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Through the interaction program they are able to work with and reach out to children and adolescents in the brick kilns. CONCERN facilitates classes on the rights of a child, encourages employers to comply by labor laws, and inform parents on the importance of education, vocational training and alternative career options.
Posted By Gisele Bolton
Posted Sep 5th, 2014