A Story by Aurora (MC)

A curse for generations.


"Bangles" ...What comes first into your mind when you hear someone calling them loud on streets? Streets of Firozabad where poor bangle makers sell their bangles and women crowded to buy them or round, colorful and lustrous  bands of glass enhancing the beauty of the wrist of a married woman. A bangle is one of the most important ornaments that an Indian woman wears. For married women, bangles hold a special significance as they are a sign of their suhaag (Marriage). Bangles have always been an inseparable part of Indian culture. But these bangles have a dark story hidden in their beauty. It is the most disturbing fact that these colourful bangles have snatched the colours of thousands of bangle makers who are doing this jobs traditionally or forcefully since generations. A thing of such a great significance has a pitiful reality that’s going to thrill you from your tip to toe. Let me make this statement more clear to my readers. Bangle makers and sellers of Firozabad are traditional bangle makers, they have inherited their profession from their, fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers or even older. These people are doing this job since they gained their consciousness and they have taken it as their destiny. The kids in these family don’t go to schools, instead make bangles and sell them on streets to make money to feed their poor family. This is also because the government isn’t yet concerned about these families and children and poverty is also a factor. These children, before the age of 7 or 8 start losing their eyesight because of the glass dust and looking into the heating furnace inside dark rooms and they lose their complete eyesight till they are adults.

Saheed was a good practising Muslim. He washed himself in the morning and routinely offered all five prayers, or namaz, throughout the day. He called on his friend Muhammud, who lived around the corner of the slum, every morning and walked with him to the Hope Project’s non-formal school for adolescent children. Saheed performed daily household chores, fetching cigarettes, snacks and groceries for home. Saheed acted as guardian to her little niece, playing with her, feeding her, looking after her. He was a bangle maker like his parents and grandparents were and after completing his morning routines he went to sell bangles at a nearby temple with his father. The family owned a piece of barren land and a mobile trolley that is always full of colourful glass bangles and it was the only source of income for the family of five people.

“Baiya ji! How much does this yellow one costs.” A woman returning from her prayer, comes to buy bangles on Saheed’s trolley. “20 rupees for six.” replied Saheed. “20! It should be 18, I buy bangles from you regularly ,it costs 18 right...”. She tries to bargain. “Ok, fine 18 rupees.” Saheed’s father agrees and makes the deal. “Mom, he doesn’t goes to school?” A little girl says pointing at Saheed, hiding behind her mother’s saree. “Bhaiya ji, why doesn’t your son goes to school?” The woman asks with curiosity. “Madam, if he goes to school, then who will sell these bangles after my eyes goes blind, we are poor people we need money to feed our hungry stomach. My family does this job since ever, he has to do it too and then his son.”

Don’t you think children like Saheed, deserve going to school?

© 2019 Aurora (MC)

Author's Note

Aurora (MC)
Hope you like it, please leave a comment if you think this fact really matters.

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This is unbelievable! Wow! This is not only a superb story, but so well told! My gawd, I'm stunned becuz you conveyed your point so powerfully by SHOWING much more than telling. Every single sentence is perfectly organized to get your point across by showing the deep sadness of these trapped lives. There are many versions of this in all countries, but having it be so full of your culture, this is a precious share. I'm so sorry for the sad topic, but your writing is so stunning, I feel happy after reading this. I feel enlightened. You're really shone a bright light on a dark topic! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 6 Months Ago

forced child labor,looks like someone in power would make some changes

Posted 6 Months Ago

This needs to stop. These children should not have to go blind simply to survive. There needs to be a safer way to make bangles, and the children should be able to go to school like anyone else. They deserve the chance to decide whether or not they will continue to make bangles, and if they decide to do so, they must do so in a way that does not take such a precious gift as eyesight from them. It's unacceptable. Something has to change.

Maybe there's a chance that bangles could be made differently?

Posted 6 Months Ago

Aurora (MC)

6 Months Ago

Once bangles were made of lac when there were no glass but when glass bangles were made they gained .. read more
R.J Calzonetti (SinisterPotatoe)

6 Months Ago

The price of bangles should be higher, considering the conditions needed to make them. Maybe there's.. read more
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3 Reviews
Added on April 12, 2019
Last Updated on April 12, 2019


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