Nalgonda: Over 2200 farmers had committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh last year, leaving behind families, which are going through tough times. Compounding their misery, the government has recognised only 144 as 'genuine' and eligible for compensation. The rest of the families got no help and see no hope.
Paying a big price are young children who inherit the burden of debt and are forced to become labourers to survive.
Ashwini, a Class 10 student at a government school in Nalgonda, wants to play and study like other children her age. But every weekend, and on many weekdays too, Ashwini becomes a labourer at a brick-kiln because she has to support her disabled mother. The frail girl, hardly 30 kg in weight, carries as many bricks as the length of her hands will allow her to load on her head. Transporting one thousand bricks this way will fetch her Rs 100 at the end of a whole day at work. The irony is that Ashwini cannot enrol for the less strenuous work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) because she is a minor, only 15 years old.
Teachers say Ashwini is a good student but she is continuing in school despite the most difficult conditions. The mid-day meal Ashwini eats at school is her first and often only full meal for the day.
Ashwini's father, a farmer, drank pesticide and killed himself in March last year because crops had repeatedly failed and debts mounted to Rs 3 lakh. Her two brothers left the village unable to face debtors. The family got no help from the government.
To help Ashwini, you can contribute here:
Account Number: 32482085669, State Bank of India, Turkapally (8805), Nalgonda
Account Holder: Polagoni Nirmala, mother of Polagoni Ashwini
Ashwini and her mother live in Malyala village, Bommalaramaram mandal (a revenue division), Nalgonda district.
You could also get in touch with the headmaster at the school in which Ashwini studies, Zilla Parishad High School, BommalaRamaram, Nalgonda, on the following number: 09866615270
Note: This information has been provided/published on a good faith basis, without any commercial motive. NDTV does not vouch for the authenticity of the claims made by the intending done, nor can we guarantee that the donations made by a donor will be used for the purpose as stated by the intending donee. You are requested to independently verify the contact information and other details before making a donation. NDTV and/or its employees will not be responsible for the same.
Story first published:
August 20, 2012 19:13 IST