This is a story about a family of farmers. The farmers do not have their own land. They work on the land of big farmers. Small farmers get work only during some months of the year. For rest of the months they need to borrow money to meet their expenses. The moneylender gives them loan.
Note: This watercolor painting has been made by Ajay Anand
Farmers have to work for moneylenders in lieu of taking loans. Small farmers go to faraway places to find work during lean season. This disturbs the school of children. They are unable to go to school for a long period.
Question 1: Did all the farmers in Dhanu’s village have their own land?
Answer: Only big farmers have their own land. Small farmers do not have their own land.
Question 2: During what time of the year did Dhanu’s family get work in the village? During What time did they not have work?
Answer: Dhanu’s family gets work in the village during rainy season. When there is no rainy season, then Dhanu’s family do not have work.
Question 3: Do you know of any families like Dhanu’s, who have to leave their villages for months in search of work?
Answer: There are many people who migrate to cities in search of work. I have seen many construction workers at construction sites. They are away from their village for long period.
Question 1: If people in Dhanu’s village did not leave the village in search of work, what difficulties would they face in their own village?
Answer: If people in Dhanu’s village did not leave the village in search of work, they will be left with no money. They need money to feed their families.
Question 2: In Dhanu’s village, there can be no farming when there is no rain. Do you think farming can be done even without rain water? How?
Answer: Farming can be done even without rainwater. There are many methods of irrigation. Some examples are canals, bore wells and Persian wheel.
Question 1: Dhanu’s family and many others from the village go far away for work but some people stay back in the village. Why does this happen?
Answer: People who are old and sick stay back in the village.
Question 2: When Dhanu and other children leave the village for six months, what happens in the village school?
Answer: Some children from well off families stay in the village. They go to school.
Question 3: What arrangements are made at your home for old and unwell family members when everyone goes for work?
Answer: When my family leaves old and sick members at home, many arrangements are made. All the medicines are brought in advance for old and sick members. A cook is employed to cook for old and sick members.
Question 1: Why does Mami wish that Dhanu should go to school for the whole year and study?
Answer: Mami does not want Dhanu to suffer the way they are suffering now. She is hopeful that after study, Dhanu will become somebody. This means that Dhanu may get good job with regular income. So, she wishes that Dhanu should go to school for the whole year and study.
Question 2: What happens when you are not able to go to school for a long time?
Answer: When someone is unable to go to school for a long time, it disturbs the study.
Question 1: Dhanu has to go with his village people to other places. Can there be some arrangements during that time so that Dhanu continues his studies? What kind?
Answer: Dhanu can be left at the village with old and sick people. If possible, a physically fit person should also stay back to care of elderly and children. This will help Dhanu to continue his studies.
Question 2: Do you know of any jobs/work for which people have to stay away from their families for many months? Look for examples from this book and write.
Answer: There are many examples – farm workers, construction workers, soldiers, etc.
Question 3: What are the similarities and differences in the lives of different kinds of farmers?
Answer: The similarity among all farmers is their work related to farming. But big farmers do not need to do physical labour. They can hire workers for that. Small farmers need to work on the farm of big farmers. Big farmers have good income and they are rich. Small farmers do not get regular income.
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