Timely rescue and proper rehabilitation through the Child Labour Elimination and Effective Rehabilitation Society (CHEERS) have transformed the lives of two girls.
After they were rescued from child labour, R Chithra and P Gokila returned to school. Both the girls have now completed Plus Two and have joined nursing course with the aim of serving the suffering patients. They obtained admission in a para medical college here.
Chithra, daughter of Radhakrisnan and Mallika, and Gokila, daughter of Ponnan and Selvi, belong to Podhapatti near Manapparai. When they were in Class VII, both the girls developed an aversion towards education. Their family condition too was not conducive for them to continue studies. With the blessings of their parents, they went to Karur in 2007 and started to work in a gunny bag production unit for `100 a day. It was around that time that Dhanalakshmi, a teacher at the CHEERS school, went round Pothapatti for a census of child labour and found the girls.
“It became very tough for me to convince the parents of Chithra and Gokila. They told me that the girls went for work on their own,” said Dhanalakshmi. “Later, I slowly convinced them and educated them on the importance of education. Finally, they accepted my advice,” the teacher added. Later, they were admitted to the CHEERS school and studied till Class VIII. They were later admitted to the Government HSS in Karungulam.