Friday, August 19, 2016

We held a study tour of Angel Aid Association which is supporting our ex-students from Surya Bharti school to study in colleges, in this August 2016.

11 people participated in this tour from Japan. 

"Study tour" means a tour to see, research and learn about the situation of local area where there has been the children supported by a group.

Most of the members of the tour are in medical jobs or educational jobs, and they had classes in Surya Bharti school for the students by using their special knowledge.

We had 2 days of the classes to teach students because some people arrived few days later.

In the first day of the classes, we had

folding Furoshiki (handkerchief) in Japanese way, how to brush tooth (by dental hygienist), games by making round shape (by a student who is a teacher to be), designing and making Uchiwa (Japanese hand fan) (by an artist), about hospitals in Japan and hospice care (by a nurse), about Japanese history, relation between India and Japan, and Samurai culture (by a history teacher). 

Some of the members who can speak English, they taught the students in English.  I interpreted in Hindi in the class about history.

Three of ex-students helped the classes as interpreters or assistants.

Our students learned lots of things by learning Japanese culture with Japanese people.

They departed from Japan on the 9th August, and they arrived in Japan on the 18th August.  They seemed like they were enjoying whatever happened in the tour...!!!

Next time, I am going to tell you about visiting a hospital, NGO, a college, an institution, a private school, and about sightseeing, and shopping etc.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

An ex-student, Ajay's death

"Do you know Ajay died?"
I was asked from Babita madam when we were going to visit a village to have Mothers & Infants Health program.

Ajay was the first phase graduate student (April 2012) from Surya Bharti school. He was living in a village next to a village where Babita madam lives.

"Does God call a person with pure heart very quickly to the heaven? He has a small baby and his wife is pregnant now. What a pity...."
Babita madam told me what she knew so far.
Ajay was killed by an electric shock when he was working at a construction site.

I was so shocked but I tried to keep calm mind during the program pretending as usual. Actually, my mind was filled with Ajay's death.

In that evening, Vikram came to see me. He lives in next state for his study. I was wondering that there wasn't any festival and what brought him here.  He said that he came to say condolences to Ajay's family after taking only one day holiday from his school.  Vikram is also the first phase graduate student as same as Ajay.

We started to talk about Ajay as soon as we found each other.

Vikram told me what he had heard from Ajay's family when he visited his house.
Before Ajay, first, a site foreman got a electric shock then Ajay was next to him and touched him without notice. The site foreman was brought to a hospital soon after the accident, but Ajay was left there untill about 4 hours later.  There was nobody from Ajay's village to call his family. 4 hours later since the accident happened, Ajay was brought to a hospital in Gaya by a car by his villagers, but he had died on the way to the hospital.

"Ajay has a baby girl. She is one and half years old just like your younger daughter" Vikram said.
Some students from the first phase graduate came to say condolences.
Vikram continued to say, "I am regretting. Just one month ago, I met Ajay and I told him that he should change his job as a labor, he studied as least in 2nd grade in college, he can work in more high level job. I recommended him to get a job in your hotel.  Then we promised that we would go to see MD sir and you about his job when I could get a holiday next time...
I am regretting that Ajay may have never died if I brought him here more earlier.  If he got a job here that accident couldn't happen then he is alive now.
Ajay's mother died very early when Ajay was a baby, so he forced to marry very early after matriculation. If he didn't marry still now, then he was a college student like me..."

His word was breaking my heart. It was me who had made a direction of Ajay's fate.  I always say to my students no to marry before becoming legitimate age in order to stop child marriage in villages.  And I didn't put Ajay's name on the list of scholarship for studying in college, because of his early marriage.  Then Ajay became a labor in a construction site.

On the very next day, principle and Rekha madam, Madhu madam and I visited Ajay's house.  It was located at just behind the building which was used as our school for few years since 2001 when we started the school. When we were walking to the house, an old man started to cry with covering his face with both hands.  He was Ajay's father.

He brought us to his house.  It was very small simple house made of bricks.  Father pointed inside of the house, I found a woman holding her knees there.  She was Ajay's wife.

I went close to her then she burst into tears.  I was only able to pat her back with no word to say.

An old lady came to us holding a baby. The baby is as same old as my younger daughter.
"Is she Ajay's daughter? Are you Ajay's mother?" I asked her.
She said " I'm a mother of her(Ajay's wife). Ajay's mother died very early when Ajay was a baby.

I asked her about the baby's name, then she replied "Her name is Alka".
I said "What a coincidence! My sister in law's name is also Alka."
Then she said "It was not a coincidence. Ajay named her hoping her to become like your sister in law. He was always telling about the school and you."
I tried to hold back tears.
Ajay might have thought about me like his mother because he lost his real mother early.  Though I have thought him as one of many students.

Rekha madam asked Ajay's wife, "Do you eat food these days? You are pregnant, aren't you? Not only for yourself but also for a new baby, you have to eat."

Ajay's mother in law said, "After that, she has never eaten. Even when this baby had a fever, her mother couldn't stand up, so I brought her to see a doctor."

Rekha madam said, "Maybe, Ajay's soul goes into the new baby's body to reborn. Please take care of the new one." Ajay's father cried again. He didn't know about the pregnant.

"I raised Ajay and his elder brother by myself alone since their mother died when Ajay was 4 months old.

I told Ajay's wife who was crying still then.
"I will give a permission to your children to be admitted in my school when they will become older. I will give you a job."

Then Ajay's mother in law said "My daughter went to 2nd grade of college."
Ajay and his wife married when he was studying in Surya bharti school.  By a custom in rural area, their parents made them married early.  They continued to live in their houses and study.  Ajay was always telling his mother in law on the phone that let his wife study more as long as she wants.

Ajay supported his wife financially by working as a labor after graduated from Surya bharti school, while he also continued to study till being 2nd grad of a college.

"I heard that Ajay became a victim in the accident caused by site foreman. Is the top of the company going to give you any compensation?" I asked, and Ajay's father replied, "They said that  they would give us money before Ajay's funeral, but the next day, they said if I require any money from them then they will start a lawsuit against me."
To keep fighting on court is very expensive and they know Ajay's father can not afford it.

When we left Ajay's house, Ajay's friend told us a lot of things about Ajay. Since Ajay didn't have his mother, he always cooked breakfast for his family every morning, then he went to the school.  After coming back from the school, he helped his father in the field and then cooked dinner for his family every evening.  Whenever someone asked him to help to harvest, he was happy to do for them without money.  Whenever there was someone became sick in his village, he brought him to hospital.

He started to work in construction sites besides agriculture after he had a baby. He might think that he had to earn more for the baby.  He started to work as a labor bringing bricks and cements, then he learned how to plaster by working with some experts and he became a plasterer earning 400Rs. per day. Then, it happened.

Principal remembered Ajay and he introduced us some episodes.
"One day, Ajay was hit by a friend with a stick. But he said nothing happened for his friend so that he wouldn't be scalded. He was such a kind boy."

I looked for Ajay's photos to give them his family.  I found that Ajay was always behind his classmates in every photos. He was always side of them or behind them. It shows his modest and shy character.  In the photo which we took when the first phase students graduated from Surya Bharti school, Ajay was just behind me.

I told Ajay in my heart, "Please wait in heaven. I will take care of your wife and children."