Children from the Ironsmith community in Rajasthan long to go to school instead of hammering metal.
The Gadia Lohar people are a nomadic tribe. Sunita Kasera, the correspondent of this video, recently met about 50 families living in makeshift huts with their children. These children also want to go to school, but cannot for the simple reason that there there isn’t a school to go to.
Traditionally, the community members are ironsmiths by profession and have earned a living by making and repairing agricultural and household tools. But Currently the demand for such tools is very low. As a result, the community members earn too little to support their families. So most children are expected to earn money for their families either by hammering irons or begging on streets. Some of these children once enrolled in a ‘school’ built by the government in their area. But they never actually studied as the school never opened.
Ironically, the Indian government allocates special stipends, scholarships and free coaching for competitive exams for Tribal children. And when they get to university, they have reserved seats there too. But the children of Gadiya Lohar community get none of those facilities as they do not have access to primary education itself . The community members are also unaware of the Right to Education Act – a new education law that ensures free, elementary education to all children under 14.
Sunita, the correspondent, is a mother of 3 school-going children herself and comes from a lower middle class family with a very moderate income. Despite her little income, she has admitted her students in a private school because she doesn’t want her children to struggle the way she and her husband have been doing. She says that, like all parents, the Gadiya Lohar community also wants to educate their children, but they don’t know how to make this possible.
IndiaUnheard has been regularly reporting on education concerns of marginalized communities living in different states. To watch all these education videos, click here.