Faces of Freedom
Donate Now!
“I used to work the charkha” mutters 9-year-old Kaif, as he animatedly moves his hand in a circular motion. His elder sister Yasmin (13) giggles and immediately explains  about the yarn opening and tufting process both the siblings were involved in. It was in 2015 when GoodWeave’s inspection team found these two children in one of the production units in industrial Panipat. Belonging to a small village called Ratanpura, the children had migrated with their family to Panipat roughly 2 years ago. With no proper background in mainstream education, the children began attending informal tuition instead of enrolling in school, a fate common for most migrant children.  Very soon, with encouragement from the loom-owner, their mother compelled them to join her in the tufting process, which both described as “easy to learn, but tedious”. “I think we managed to complete about 50 rolls per day”, voiced Yasmin, “No, no. More than that”, Kaif said, matter of factly, and smiled.  
Saved from what could have been a prolonged period of mental exploitation, the children were found and rehabilitated about a month after they had begun working. After rehabilitating them from the loom, GoodWeave team repeatedly counselled the family and offered to sponsor the education of both the children. The only problem that still shadows both the staff and the children is the learning lag Yasmin and Kaif have with other children. While Yasmin could only get enrolled in 3rd grade, Kaif now attends Upper Kindergarten. Sharp as they now look in their vivid uniforms, there’s still some level of frustration that they’re both battling with. “My classmates are only as big as him”, expressed Yasmin pointing at Kaif. As the staff gears up to provide focussed, bridge classes to them for the next 6 months, there’s hope that they’ll soon be attending age-appropriate classes.  
A recent visit to their school painted a more gratifying picture, for the children have now adjusted to a relatively normal childhood. Hurting wrists and long working hours have now been replaced by pending homeworks, short recesses, and insipid canteen food. Also, Kaif’s pride at having 5 best friends and Yasmin’s disappointment at having none is superseded by the fact that the siblings have stuck together; and together they now move towards a better future.

Go Back to Stories <<

Member of ISEAL

isealISEAL is the global association for sustainability standards : ISEAL Alliance Code of Good Practice. The four goals of ISEAL Alliance are to:
1. Improve the impacts of standards
2. Define credibility for sustainability standards
3. Increase the uptake of credible sustainability standards
4. Improve the effectiveness of standards