Sparsh Stories – Sanjona and Hartaj

Kids often dream of having superpowers. But Sanjona and her younger brother Hartaj (names have been changed to protect the privacy of the children) didn’t have the luxury to dream. They spent long days working alongside their family on farms in Nepal. Their parents never went to school and the only way they knew to earn money was through farming. Suddenly, famine struck their village in Nepal and they had to move to a small town called Dolgaon in Himachal Pradesh to start their lives over again.

One day a farm owner offered their family a place to live on his farm if they looked after his entire property. Sanjona and Hartaj’s family now had a tent to sleep in. But at night, bugs and insects would crawl inside. Sanjona and Hartaj were scared and stayed awake all night. When it rained, water came inside the tent and the family had no place to sleep at all.

Sanjona and Hartaj’s father became an alcoholic and started physically abusing their mother. While their mother toiled hard on the farm, their father stopped working completely. Sanjona and Hartaj witnessed this abuse every day. Life looked bleaker than ever. After few months, Sanjona and Hartaj’s family moved back to Nepal. The following year Nepal was hit with the massive earthquake, and Sanjona and Hartaj’s father died.

Agatha Christie said “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” After Sanjona and Hartaj’s father’s death their mother decided to move to Pune and work in a red-light area to support her children.

Although Sanjona and Hartaj’s mother worked as a prostitute, she wanted to shield her children from the realities of her workplace. She was looking for a safe place for her children where they could dream of a future again. Sanjona and Hartaj’s mother learned of Sparsh through a friend.  She shared her story and Sparsh welcomed Sanjona and Hartaj.

Sanjona is now studying in 8th standard and Hartaj is in 2nd standard. Sanjona dreams of becoming a nurse and Hartaj dreams of becoming a cricketer.

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