Differently-abled kids of diamond workers hand over grant money to jobless fathers

The money given to them was meant to secure their future. Instead,these children,differently-abled students of a welfare school,are now using it to help their fathers — all jobless diamond workers — to safeguard their present.

Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Surat | Published: February 7, 2009 12:45 am

The money given to them was meant to secure their future. Instead,these children,differently-abled students of a welfare school,are now using it to help their fathers — all jobless diamond workers — to safeguard their present.

When his father sought to remove him from school,Naresh Mistry,a Class XI student,afflicted by polio in both legs,handed over a cheque of Rs 15,000 to his father. Naresh had received this money from the Disable Welfare School so that he could start some business after completing his studies.

Handing over the FDs meant to secure their future — to the parents,for the families’ sake — has become the norm among several of the schools’ 500 students,all of them children of diamond workers,most of them rendered jobless now. The school authorities are also co-operating,wanting the children to continue their studies,instead of being forced to drop out,as has become the norm in Surat,Saurashtra and Ahmedabad.

Balu Kokhar,a jobless diamond polisher,on Monday went to the Disable Welfare Trust School at Piplod in Surat,where his physically challenged daughter Sejal (18) studied.

Kokhar wanted Sejal to discontinue her studies as the family was returning to Bhavnagar.

It was Sejal who then took up the matter with school trustee Kanu Tailor. “The school had made some provision for us. It can be any thing between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000,” she said. Tailor immediately signed the FD and handed it to Kokhar for his day-to-day expenditure.

Tailor said: “The District Social department gives us Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 for each primary and secondary student every year. We save the money in an FD account with the bank in the name of the student as private donors sponsor the expenses towards stationery and other items.”

Tailor said the FDs are meant to help the students financially when they start a business or go for higher education.

School Principal Divya Kosambia said: “I am happy that our organisation has managed to help the families of diamond polishers. We could help these students to continue their education,giving their families money so that they are not forced to drop out. In the last three months,many disabled students,believed to be a burden on their families,have lent a helping hand.”

Viral Dholakia,18,a Class XI student,says this is the least he could do. “I am studying for the last 11 years. My father is jobless since the last three months and he sold off all the family ornaments. My younger brother Bhupendra and two sisters,Amita and Jyoti,have left their studies. My brother now sells fruits on a handcart,“ he says.

He is now satisfied as he could convince his school principal to hand over the FD amount to his

father.

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