February 15, 2009 2:21:40 am
Many of the traumatised siblings of Nitharis victims who dropped out of school,are now heading back to the classroom
When his sister Jyoti was lost to the butchers of Nithari,Rajesh Kumar was still in school. With his 10-year-old sisters disappearance,his studies were affected,but he decided to forge on. The 18-year-old is now studying
B Com in Noida. But the judgment has changed Rajeshs life: he will now switch track and become a criminal lawyer.
Kumar has also made sure his other sister,13-year-old Bharti,remains in school. For right in the middle of a Nithari still mourning for its lost children,hope floats in the eyes of children including daughters who were spared horrific deaths.
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After Jyoti went missing,I pulled Bharti out of school. I did not want to lose my second daughter. But Rajesh insisted that Bharti study and become something. So I put her back in school around last year, says Jhaboolal Kanojia Dhobi,their father. He used to iron clothes for house number D-5. The tragedy has sharpened the family’s urge to become something.
I want to be a lawyer and have spoken to my college about switching to a BA course. I want to study history and then do an LLB. Im just waiting for my first year exams to get over. I want to defend other disadvantaged people, Rajesh says. The only way for us to move up is to study. I cant let my parents let go of that vision. I dont want my sisters life to go waste, he says.
Thats the sentiment echoed by many victim families. Most of them are migrants and came to Noida seeking better opportunities. Most also scrapped their childrens schooling after other children started disappearing,but have gradually moved them back to school.
Karamvir,who lost his daughter Madhu,was scared if his daughters stepped out of home. Following the punishment awarded to Pandher and Koli yesterday,he has taken leave today and is celebrating by going to his village in Moradabad. After the Nithari killings,he had taken his daughters out of school and moved them to Moradabad. But after this academic year is over,he will bring them back to Noida.
I was terrified. I took my children out of school and sent them to Moradabad. I put two of my younger daughters,Renu and Preeti,in a school there. Now I want them to return to Noida and study, he says.
The Haldar family,whose daughter Rimpas case saw punishment being meted out to Moninder Singh Pandher and Surinder Koli,have a painful,and ironic,relationship with the school cycle. Rimpa,their only daughter,who was studying in West Bengal,had come to Nithari to spend her holidays with her parents when she fell victim to house number D5.
She would still have been in school had this not happened. She would have been an educated and more capable young girl, her mother Dolly says. Rimpas 10-year-old brother,Surojit,is now their focus. The Haldars have put Surojit back in school. He lost nearly a year after his sister went missing. I study in Nayi Disha School and am learning to speak English, Surojit says.
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