Weela Rajak in class
“I love going to school. The tiredness goes away when I am in school.” The three and a half hours in the afternoon are the only time when Weela Rajak can really enjoy herself.
Weela’s family stays in a house, the rent for which is covered by the payment from Weela’s work.
She wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and does all the housework in the landlord’s house, including sweeping the floor, doing the dishes and washing clothes.
After completing the morning work at the first house, she goes around to three other houses to do wash their clothes before going to school.
Then, after school, the evening work is waiting for her.
She says that, unlike her, most of the other girls in her locality do not work.
Although no one teases her about it, she confesses that she sometimes feels sad and even angry at the situation in which she is placed. “I have been working since Class I and I understand there is no way out.”
Weela explains that she likes her school because of its good atmosphere. She says that the teachers are ready to respond to her whenever she requires them.
In school, she has learnt how to keep herself neat and live a better life.
She wants to continue her study up to Class X and become a teacher.
Weela is studying at one of the prestigious private schools in Jamshedpur city in Jharkhand.
Through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), afternoon classes are opened at some private schools for deprived urban children. The innovation has provided learning opportunities for over 5,000 children.