As a rickshaw puller in Bangladesh, Joynal earns a very small income by carrying other people’s children to school. In the past, the father of two used to weep silently while he took students to their schools on his bicycle taxi.
“I carried other people’s children in my rickshaw to their school,” he says, “but my children didn’t go to school. It was very painful for me. I wanted my children also to go to school and college.”
As a rickshaw puller, Joynal could hardly afford to provide food and clothing for his children, let alone pay for luxuries like books and pencils. Still, he dreamed of educating his children, giving them an opportunity he never had as a child. Last year his dream came true when NCM opened a child development center (CDC) in his village. He enrolled his 5-year-old daughter, Sharmin,* there.
Initially, Sharmin did not want to go, though. She was ashamed because she couldn’t complete her homework on her own. Joynal went to the CDC to explain that he could not help his daughter and didn’t have the money for a tutor, so the staff started to give her extra help.
Now, Sharmin is learning quickly, and she looks forward to going to school every day. And Joynal is proud to take her there in his rickshaw.
*Names of children have been changed for their protection.