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Resettled family children in Vanni abandon school to earn a living

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 July 2010 12:54 No Comment]

Most of the resettled families having lost their earning male members either killed, disappeared or detained in prison after arrest or surrender, their children are forced to drop out from school in order to earn a living for the family, an education officer in Vanni said. The number of children above fifteen in the resettled families abandoning school has shot up drastically, though most of them would like to continue schooling if only they have the means, he further said. Politicians and others who had been shouting hard for the rights of children during the war have become silent on this grave issue, Sitsabesan, a local NGO representative in Vanni said.

“Trade now flourishes in the newly opened public market in Ampaa’lku’lam in Ki’linochchi district but you will be surprised to find that most of the traders this market are below the age of eighteen,” Sitsabesan said.

“Though these teenagers very much wish to continue their education they have to work to prevent their family members from starvation and death,” a headmaster of a school in Ki’linochchi said.

Kaliyazhakan, 17, who had lost his parents in the war had sought refuge with his mother’s sister’s family where the head of the family had been arrested and detained in prison by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the final days of the war on Vanni. Kaliyazhakan, a trader in Ampaa’lku’lam public market told TamilNet that he has to work to look after the family of his aunt.

16-year-old Kumuthan who is also a trader in the above market told TamilNet that he does not know what had happened to his parents who had gone missing during the war and that he has to work to look after his two sisters.

Kumuthan said he cannot even think of going to school in his present conditions but added that he will go to school if somebody would help his family.

On the whole, most of the teenagers in the resettled families in Vanni are forced to look after their families by working in motor repair garages, eating places and similar enterprises which have mushroomed in Vanni.

[Full Coverage]

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