BOOK NAME: IT SO HAPPENED
CHAPTER 2 CHILDREN AT WORK SUMMARY
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
Velu, an eleven year old boy, runs away from home.
He wanders around for hours and gets on a train to Chennai without a ticket.
He got off the train at Chennai Central and sat on a bench on the platform.
Tired and hungry, he doesn’t know where to go.
He met Jaya, the rag picker, who called him roughly.
Velu thought that she was his only hope and followed her.
They walked through the busy streets and saw the Central Jail and reached an auditorium where a wedding was going on.
Velu and Jaya got a vada and a squashy banana to eat.
They walked for half an hour and reached near a row of strangest huts he had ever seen.
Jaya went around to one of them and dumped her sack of paper, plastic and bottles and picked up an empty one.
She threw a pair of old shoes and pushed a sack and a stick into his hands.
In confusion he asked her “Are there any farms in the city?” and got the answer that there are no farmers here.
He decided to be a ragpicker thinking that he will do it till he finds a better job.
Velu was an eleven year old boy who had run away from home. He reached Chennai Central in the Kanyakumari Express without a ticket. He had no money for the ticket but luckily the ticket collector didn’t come to the unreserved compartment. He tried to sleep on the floor near the door but the group of men playing cards and shouting made him sleepless. After getting off, he sat on a bench on the platform, putting his small bundle down. In all his eleven years, he had never seen so many people. He watched them very carefully and he felt the noise miserable. He was feeling miserable and exhausted. He had eaten nothing but some peanuts and a piece of jaggery in these two days. He carried a shirt, a towel and a comb in his bundle.Velu was awakened by a rough voice. When he turned around he saw a girl of his own age, wearing a long banian that reaches her knees. Her hair was stiff and brownish and she had a huge sack on one shoulder. She was picking up dirty plastic cups from the floor and stuffing them into her sack. She asked his name and inquired whether he had run away from home? But Velu didn’t want to share his secret with this strange girl that he ran away home because he couldn’t bear his father beating him for one more day. His father would snatch all the money Velu and his sisters earned and spend it on drinks.
The girl asked about his plan but he didn’t answer. When he felt hunger pinching him, the girl told him that she can find some food if he wants.
It was still morning but Velu’s bare feet burned as the sun blasted down on the tar and he was soaked with sweat. He was thinking about the food and after an hour they stopped in front of a big building which was an auditorium. He read the names of the groom and the bride and he saw big cars parked outside. When the girl told him to come, looking at the huge hall and the people inside, he asked “Are we going to eat here?”
She led him behind the hall where a huge garbage bin was overflowing with rubbish. Two goats were standing on the pile, fighting for a banana leaf. She picked up a squashy banana and held it out to him and told, “Here’s your food.”
Velu remarked that those houses are strange because in his village the houses are made of mud and palm leaves.
Jaya went around to one of the huts and dumped her sack outside and picked up an empty one and told, “Let’s go.” She threw him a pair of old shoes without laces and pushed a sack and a stick into his hands and told to go with her.
Velu was confused and thought about the work which she wanted him to do with those things. The only work he had ever done was on the landowner’s farm, weeding and taking cows out to graze. So he asked her, “Are there any farms in the city?” She laughed at this and told him that there are no farmers there and they were ragpickers.
Velu had never heard a thing that people collect things from rubbish bins. She clarified the fact that it is not rubbish they are collecting but only paper, plastic, glass and such other things. He was puzzled when he heard that they sell it to Jam Bazaar Jaggu. He asked her who is he and why is he buying all these because he had heard of only people throwing away rubbish not buying them. She explained him that after buying this he sells it to a factory.
Jaya told she had no time to waste like him but Velu didn’t move from there. He was thinking that he hadn’t run away and come to this new place to dig through garbage bins.
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