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How one mother's life can differ to her daughters, thanks to education

Renee Schreurs

Rukku is the mother of one of the My Name is Kumar girls, Sowndhrya. Sowndhrya has received our support for over 4 years, which has enabled her to go to school. Sowndhrya is a particularly good student and does extremely well at school, she continually comes top in her class and has a particular flair for English. Her mother Rukku lives in the Londor begging community with her children and her husband. We visited Rukku to ask her some questions about how she believes her life and her daughters will be different.

Interview conducted by Demi Penders 

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Rukku was born in the Londor community and grew up there, just as her daughter Sowndrhya has. Rukku was a young girl part of a big family, with 2 brother and 3 sisters. Her parents died when she was very young, which forced her and her siblings to continue to beg as their parents had done in order to survive. When she was a little older she married Sowndhrya’s father and began working at a pig farm on the days that she wasn’t begging.

Rukku wasn’t able to attend school, so she never learnt how to read and write properly. She now earns a small wage for her work on the pig farm, but it is hard work in blazing sun and it doesn’t pay much. We can remember when Rukku had her last son, a few years back, the following day after giving birth she was back to work in the fields.

Rukku has 4 children and she hopes that none of them will have to beg or work on the pig-farm in order to earn money. For this reason she wants all her children to be able to have an education. In particular, she knows how important it is for her only daughter Sowndhrya to finish school.

When we asked Rukku what she thought Sowndhrya’s life would be like without school she couldn’t say, instead she said that she wanted to focus only on the positives. She knows that Sowndrhya is clever and does extremely well at school. She also knows Sowndhrya’s particular talent for English and hopes that her daughter will be able use this to get a good job in the future.

Rukku also has complete faith that her daughter will be able to continue to college and university. She hopes that if Sowndrhya does this then she will be able to support her little brothers in their education too. Because that’s her biggest dream; that all her children have the opportunity to go to school.