A key driver of supply chain improvements will always be the private sector. Intelligent entrepreneurs will look for ways to find wins for all stakeholders. This is Bhagwan’s story.
Trade and investment in the Natural Stone Sector offer’s great potential for generating income, growth, prosperity, sustaining livelihoods and fostering local development. Under the “Getting Down to Business” project Stop Child Labour, through Manjari (A local CSO), began working with local businesses to protect the human rights of families engaged in the processing of natural stone.
Mr. Bhagwan Das has been manufacturing Sandstone Cobbles in the Budhpura area of the Bundi district of Rajasthan for the past 20 years. His father moved here when Bhagwan Das was only 2 years old. His father started a Paan (Beetle) shop in Budhpura to earn his livelihood. Due to his family conditions Bhagwan left education at the 6th grade. Initially, he started a grocery shop but he was keen to explore other avenues to increase his family income. He decided to establish a business producing sandstone cobbles. The business flourished and he established one of the largest cobble yards in Budhpura employing around 300 male/female workers.
Our project to Create Child Labour Zones in Budhpura is touching the lives of real people. This is Peeru’s story
Peeru is 10 years old and belongs to Bheel (Schedule tribe) community, residing in Patiyal village in Budhpura. Even though Peeru’s father works in the natural stone mines and his mother makes Sandstone cobbles, their combined income was not enough to meet the family needs. To bring in more money Peeru and his siblings, despite being enrolled in school, were sent to work in the family cattle grazing business. For the family, earning additional income from livestock was more important than education.
Education Volunteers of Manjari, local partners of Stop Child Labor (SCL) play an important role motivating children and their parents to attend school.
One day an education volunteer visited Peeru’s house to find out why his parents were not making him attend school. His father said that the money from cattle grazing was more important than education. The Manjari volunteers didn’t give up and kept on meeting the family trying to convince them to send Peeru to school. Finally, they agreed to send Peeru to a motivation center located in Patiyal village. Attending the motivational center was a whole new experience for Peeru where he was finally given the space to play and interact with other children. Peeru also learned other basic things like the alphabet and poems. Peeru thrived in this new environment and never missing a class became happier and more confident. Witnessing the positive change in their son’s behavior, they finally understood the significance that education could play in their family’s life. They sold all their cattle and enrolled Peeru in full time education
Peeru is now studying in class 3rd at a Government Primary School at Budhpura. Now they send Peeru’s younger brother to the same motivation center, so that he can also gradually transition into formal education.
On Sunday the 24th March, something momentous and joyous happened in the village of Budhpura, Rajasthan, India. To understand why the 24th March was such a momentous day though we need to understand the history of this semi-rural village, tucked away in the back waters of Rajasthan.
85% of the worlds Sandstone is quarried in Rajasthan and the Bundi highway cuts through this stone quarrying region like a knife. There is a stretch of this highway where for 20km all you can see in every direction are quarries and mining activity!