Stories of Stolen Childhood
Think As You Read
Question 1: What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps? Where is he and where has he come from?
Answer: Saheb is looking for gold in the garbage dumps. In fact, anything which can be retrieved from the garbage dump to be sold at some price is akin to gold for Saheb. Saheb is living in Seemapuri, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Delhi. Saheb has come from Dhaka.
Question 2: What explanations does the author offer for the children not wearing footwear?
Answer: Poor children who do not wear shoes often tell that they don’t wear them because they are not in the habit of doing so. But the author says that this is an excuse to show denial to their perpetual poverty. The author thinks it is because of abject poverty that street urchins don’t wear shoes.
Question 3: Is Saheb happy working at the tea-stall? Explain.
Answer: Saheb has started working at a tea-stall because he needs to earn money. But the work at tea-stall is too demanding for a small child like Saheb. Moreover, this job has robbed his independence. So, Saheb is not happy working at the tea-stall.
Question 4: What makes the city of Firozabad famous?
Answer: Firozabad is famous as the main centre of manufacturing glass bangles.
Question 5: Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangles industry.
Answer: Working in the glass bangles industry is full of health hazards. People have to work near burning furnace for many hours. This has deleterious effect on their health. A worker has to continuously work under dim light conditions. This makes their eyesight unfit for broad daylight. Most of the workers become blind by the middle age. There is also the risk of inhaling too many fine particles of silica and bits of glass, which adversely affects the lungs of a worker.
Question 6: How is Mukesh’s attitude to his situation different from that of his family?
Answer: People in Mukesh’s family have learnt to accept working in the bangles industry as part of their fate. But Mukesh is different as he is daring to break free and wants to become a motor mechanic. He is thinking of a life beyond the bangles industry.