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Father’s illness forces 11-year-old Salma to work in brick kiln

Father’s illness forces 11-year-old Salma to work in brick kiln

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14 Feb 2024 - 16:25
Father’s illness forces 11-year-old Salma to work in brick kiln
author avatar
14 Feb 2024 - 16:25

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Tired of a difficult life, 11-year-old Salma is forced by poverty to work in a brick kiln with her ailing father to support her family in eastern Nangarhar province.

Khan Mohammad, Salma’s father, a resident of Sultanpur area of Surkhrod district has been suffering from a rheumatic disease.

Salma daily comes to the brick kiln with her father in the morning and works there until evening.

Tired of her miserable life, Salma says her father’s ailment has forced her to work in order to support family.

“I go to work at 7:00am with my father and a little brother, we make 1,000 bricks daily, but the income is not enough,” Salma said.

She is hopeful t the government and donor agencies will help her so that she can get rid of the heavy work and reach her dream of going to school.

“It is hard, when we come in the morning, my fingers and feet freeze due to severe cold, but I have to work. I want to go to school. I want to be helped so I no longer work here…” she added.

Similarly, Salma’s father, Khan Mohammad, said there was no one else in the family to earn money and that was why Salma had to work with him in the kiln.

“We make around 1,500 bricks a day. They pay 350 afghanis per 1,000 bricks. I can’t do my work. I have rheumatism. My hands are weak,” he explained.

Khan Mohammad earns very little money per day, which is not enough to meet his daily needs. He also cannot afford his treatment.

“I have been working here for the last 16 years. But my income is not enough to cover family expenses.”

On the other hand, Nangarhar Labor and Social Affairs Department says the number of children working in brick kilns has decreased compared to the past.

Labor and Social Affairs director Maulvi Faridullah Haqqani told Pajhwok they had started providing education to working children in cooperation with charity organizations and aid agencies.

He said families of such children were being financially supported in order not to send their children to work.

Currently, there are about 50 brick kilns in Nangarhar where at least fifty families work in each kiln, and many families force their children to do heavy works.

sa/ma

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