It was all going well for Ajay and his family. The 12-year-old boy was studying in a private school, enjoying his cricket sessions and dreaming of playing for the Indian team, like his hero Virat Kohli.
Ajay’s father, Rakesh has a furniture workshop. To curb family expenses, Ajay’s mother stayed with her in-laws in the family’s village home.
“Ajay ka papa itna nahin kamate the, isleye main gaon mein rehti thi” (Ajay’s father did not earn that much, so I stayed in the village) says Bhuri, Ajay’s mother.
Rakesh wanted his son to get the best education and enrolled Ajay in a private school. “Iske papa isse ache school main padhna chaite the” (Ajay’s father wanted him to study in a good school) Bhuri added.
The furniture workshop was not faring well. The family had to cut expenses, which in-turn led to Ajay missing school for an year.
Bhuri then came to know about EFRAH an organization where children who have dropped out from school are enrolled back under the Right to Education act.
In the last months of 2011, Ajay attended EFRA’s Non-Formal Education (NFE) programme, where he attended classes for class four. In the academic session of 2013-14, he was enrolled in a government school in class five.