24 April 2009


The second stop was Loukha village.

Panchayat : Loukha
Population : 600
Anganwadi: 1
School : Primary School
Children attending School : 100-150
Major Occupation: Cultivation

At Louka, the scouts met Lalan (photo alongside). Lalan is 9 years old and studies in the 4th grade at the primary school in the village. He belongs to the dalit caste and lives in the village with his mother, grand parents and two siblings. Four years ago Lalan lost his father to epileptic fits and ever since then, his mother Sita Devi has been responsible for his blind grandparents.

The family owns 7 bigha of agricultural land, which has been leased to five different people in the village to cultivate because there is no one in the family who can cultivate the land. Last year’s flood devastated 4 bigha of their agricultural land due to silt deposits and nothing can be cultivated on this any longer. This was their only hope to earn some money.

Lalan’s grandfather Masuharu has been suffering from tuberculosis for two years; and to treat this condition, his mother took a loan from a moneylender with a high interest rate. Unfortunately Masuharu’s condition is not improving and Lalan’s mother cannot repay the outstanding money and will not get a further loan anytime soon since their source of income (agriculture) had been destroyed this year. The current situation is so stark, that the family can afford to cook only once in a day. And due to this situation, Lalan misses school. He is anxious and does not know what he should do or how he can support his family.

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