Pankaj Kumar

Pankaj Kumar – Pankaj eagerly tells me that he likes BSS because “the education is excellent here.” At 14, he realizes that his studies are exceptionally important and says that he would like to focus more on learning English. He dreams of one day becoming a doctor so that he can provide necessary services for the people in his community. These days, when he is not in school, he helps with stringing the beads for the mala necklaces at home, but also manages to devote a lot of time to his studies.

If Pankaj became a doctor one day, it would mark a significant change from his parents. Pankaj’s father cobbles together a living by renting hand-pushed carts (known as tailas in Hindi) from merchants on a daily basis in order to deliver goods. This is a tricky business because the workers have to give money to rent the carts for a fee from the shopkeepers, so it is up to the workers to ensure that they are able make a profit from the customers. This provides only an insecure and fluctuating living for the family.

Pankaj is confident about continuing his studies. Expressing his thoughts about moving away from BSS, he says that he wonders a lot about what the school will be like, how the other students will be, and if the teachers will be as likeable as they are at BSS.

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