Children's Stories: Narayan
The following letter was sent to us by Narayan, a former child laborer rescued by GoodWeave.
I know the problems of working children as I worked for about eight years as a child laborer in the carpet industry. I have the answers to questions like: What work do children do in carpet factories and for how long do they work? How much are they paid for their work? What are the reasons behind child labor?
Usually in a carpet factory, child laborers work for about 14-15 hours a day. They weave carpets, spin the wool, roll the thread, etc., but most of them aren’t paid in full for their work. Whatever money is given to them is taken away by their elders (relatives/parents). They are punished badly if they make any mistakes. So the situation for child laborers is miserable in carpet factories.
The GoodWeave certification program is important for children working in the carpet industry. I have received support from GoodWeave for the last eight years. Because of GoodWeave, now I have a pen in my hand instead of working tools, knowledge in my mind and confidence towards life.
In my experience, GoodWeave has a good process of taking children out of carpet factories and placing them in rehabilitation centers. GoodWeave inspectors inspect the carpet factories, interview the children, talk to their guardians or supervisors and take them away from the work to a place where they can find a complete hostel facility, quality education, medical treatment and everything they need. The children are taught in a school and are made to become qualified people. The teachers teach up to "School Leaving Certificate" level for whoever is talented in formal education, and provide vocational training for those who need technical skills. Thus, GoodWeave helps to develop the career of a child.
All my friends who came to the rehabilitation center were really very happy and they all thank the GoodWeave certification program a lot from their heart. They understand the difference between their past and present lives. Like the history of human civilization, they think of their time as child laborers in the carpet industry as the dark age of their life. Now they really understand the power of confidence and dignity in life, and they know they deserve these things. They understand children’s rights. They ask themselves "what would have happened to our lives if we had not been brought to the center by GoodWeave?" So, in a way, GoodWeave plays a role of a teacher who gives guidelines for leading a proper life, taking children’s lives to the path of light from a dark corner, fighting for their rights and making them able to lead better lives than that of child laborers.
I would like to thank GoodWeave for enlightening my life as well as that of my many friends. GoodWeave has played the role of parent for me. I thank GoodWeave, as well as all the donors, for doing their best for the golden future of child laborers like me. I request that every individual provide his or her whole-hearted support, cooperation and financial support to the GoodWeave certification program. It is not only my voice but is the voice of all child laborers. We will always be thankful to you.