Children from the Don Bosco Child Labour Eradication Mission School have beaten all odds and excelled in different public examinations. Some of these students have worked as child labourers and cowherds and some are orphans. All of them have fared well in different examinations, despite poverty. The Don Bosco Child Labour Eradication Mission School has been providing shelter to the child labourers and also looking after their educational needs. In the 2015 SSLC exams, out of 39 children who wrote it, 31 passed, with 12 getting first class, 10 students bagging second class and nine getting third class. In the II PUC exam, out of 28 students who wrote the exams, nine got first class, four second class, and five third class. Every topper from the school has a different story to tell. They have struggled even for the basics like food, clothing and shelter.
Vanajakshamma from Togarikatte village in Harapanahalli taluk has topped in the II PUC. She had become a child labourer after completing the sixth standard, as her parents were impoverished and made her work in the fields. When all her classmates went to school, she used to take care of six of her siblings. The Don Bosco institution identified her and admitted her to a school. Vanajakshamma scored 80 per cent in the SSLC and 82.50 per cent in the II PUC. She got 495 marks in science at the Amarajyothi Junior College at Soraba. She wants to become a nurse or veterinary scientist.
Geetha Uppara’s father is differently-abled. Due to being impoverished she had to start working as a farm labourer along with her mother in Harapanahalli taluk. After completing her SSLC with good marks, she completed PUC with distinction. She wants to pursue the M Com and work as a lecturer.
Meenakshi’s father was a drunkard. She had no mother and had to work as a maid servant at the village elder’s house at Kodaganur village in Davangere taluk, after managing to study up to the fifth standard. Kavitha, a teacher at the Don Bosco school, identified her and admitted her to the Don Bosco institution. Kavitha convinced Meenakshi’s father about the importance of education. She continued her education and has scored First class in the arts stream in the II PUC. “I recently lost my father too. I want to work hard and complete B.Com and help my brother to complete his education,” Meenakshi said.
Kajjera Ajjaiah worked as a farm labourer with his parents in Nichchavvanahalli. He was identified and then admitted to the Don Bosco Child Labour Eradication Mission School for his studies. He has secured 76.64 per cent in the SSLC exams in 2015. “I want to get a PG degree and serve society,” he added.
Poverty pushed Basamma to work as a farm labourer in her childhood. After joining the Don Bosco school like her sister Vanajakshi, she was able to concentrate on academics and has completed the SSLC by scoring 70 per cent. “I want to become a teacher to help poor students like me to get an education,” Basamma said.
Karthik from the Bamboo Bazar area scored 69 per cent in the SSLC. He said, “I had studied up to the third standard and was forced by my parents to graze cattle. I did not know how to read or write. After doing this work for some time, I was sent by Don Bosco School to study in Gadag at a government school.”
Angadi Mahesha from Kanchikere village in Harapanahalli taluk had to cut short his education as his mother couldn’t afford it. Mahesha ended up working as a farm labourer. A teacher, Honnappa, got Mahesha enrolled at the Don Bosco School meant for child labourers.