NCERT Solutions For Class 12 Flamingo English Lost Spring
Summary of Lost Spring
Spring is the best time of the year. Being full of colour, fragrance and freshness, it is also a season of regeneration and growth. It is a season of hope and optimism. Spring is a metaphor for the childhood stage of a person’s life because it marks the beginning of human life and has a great potential for growth. From birth to late childhood, life for every child is almost the beginning of a bright and shining future. Childhood is characterised by innocence, physical stamina and vitality, a tremendous outdoor urge and a tremendous appetite for fun and play. There are no limits to the activities. It’s also the stage to gain skills and knowledge, learn and go to school. But, ironically, millions of children (like Saheb and Mukesh) do not have spring in their lives, because their childhood is spent on making a living. Education, play and pleasure are not something for them to enjoy. They need to work to support themselves and their families. Thus the title reveals the depravity of child labour in a very telling way.
The Lost Spring of Anees Jung is an expression of the national shame of children condemned to poverty and exploitation. The two protagonists of the chapter, Saheb-e-Alam and Mukesh, have lost their childhood in bearing the burden of poverty and illiteracy. The author finds glimpses of resilience and fortitude in their bleak exploitative stories.
Saheb and his family left their homes in Dhaka and their green fields to settle in Seemapuri. Because of storms and floods, they left Dhaka. They think it’s better to be without identity than to starve.
Seemapuri is close to Delhi geographically, but Delhi is far from its traditions, standard of life, and people. When the Bangladeshis arrived here three decades ago, Seemapuri was a deserted area. Due to the natural catastrophes in Bangladesh, they were forced to come here. It was because they could survive here that they loved Seemapuri. Here they had food, and shelter.
The author’s description of the lives of the rag pickers in Seemapuri is touching. 10,000 people came as squatters, living in mud structures, with tin and tarpaulin roofs, devoid of sewage, drainage, or running water. Squatters are persons who illegally occupy uninhabited buildings or unused lands. They’ve stayed there without any identity, but food is more important than identity. Their fields in Dhaka could not give them food, while they’re rag pickers, they don’t go hungry. Survival at Seemapuri means harvesting rags. The elders have made it their profession for fixed wages, while the children’s rag-picking is a game of treasure-hunting. They work through the garbage with the hope that one day they’ll get a gold coin or a rupee note from the garbage heap.
Over the years, rag-picking has acquired the proportions of fine art. Like any other art form, rag-picking possesses certain talents and rules. One needs guidance and inborn talent in order to be a successful rag picker. He’s supposed to know where to find the garbage, what to take, what to ignore, what the time is best for it, and so on. In Seemapuri, every child is skilled in this form of art.
Saheb-e-Alam does not know the meaning of his name, the Lord of the universe, which he is not. He had been a rag picker. He and his fellow rag pickers are barefooted, and the reason he gives is that his mother doesn’t bring his shoes down from the shelf. The author has met a number of barefooted children wandering around. The reason is that it’s not a lack of money, it’s a tradition to remain barefoot. It’s just an excuse to explain their state of poverty, according to Anees Jung.
Education has brought about timely changes in many people’s lifestyles, such as the Udipi priest and his son. A man from Udipi once told the author his own storey when he was a boy and his father was a priest in the temple. As a young boy, he would go to school past this old temple and briefly stop praying for a pair of shoes. Thirty years later, when the author visited his town and the temple, she saw many modern examples in the city and people’s lifestyle. The priest’s son is now going to school, wearing shoes and socks carrying a school bag. The author means indicating the timely changes that education brings to people and how the illiterate rag pickers remain unchanged, carrying the rotten traditions. The rag pickers have no way out of poverty since they don’t have a chance to go to school and be educated.
Saheb is currently employed in a tea shop with a fixed salary of 800 rupees and all meals. He’s not happy because he’s lost his freedom because he’s bound to the owner of the tea stall that’s his master. He’s not his own master anymore.
The title ‘Lost Spring’ is justified in the first part as Saheb-e-Alam’s childhood – his spring time is lost first when he picks up rags and then when he works for a master.
Theme of Lost Spring
The lesson deals with the plight of the children who are forced into labour early in life and denied
the opportunity to better their circumstances through access to education. The vicious circle of
poverty, governmental apathy and exploitation engulfs them. The story also highlights the indifferent attitude of the society and the political class towards the problem of child labour.
Questions and Answers
Think As You Read
Q.1.What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps where has he come from?
A. In the garbage dumps, Saheb searches for coins, rupee notes and any other useful objects. After they were uprooted from their native village in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saheb and his family migrated to Seemapuri, a slum region on the outskirts of Delhi, looking for a source of livelihood.
Q. 2. What explanation does Saheb give the author for not wearing footwear?
A. In her neighbourhood, the author comes across many shoeless rag-picker kids. One explanation for this habit of remaining barefoot, according to her, is that it is a tradition among this country’s poor children. The author, however, quickly mentions that calling it a tradition might just be only an excuse for lack of money. Thus, the author disagrees with the usual explanation that is offered about it being a tradition in India to walk barefoot.
Q.3 Is Saheb happy working at the tea-stall?
A. Saheb took a job at the tea-stall, but he is not really happy working at the tea-stall because he has lost his freedom. His job for a master meant sacrificing his freedom and his “carefree look.” Although his work at the tea-stall pays him 800 rupees and all his meals, he seems less satisfied than before.
Q.4 What is Firozabad famous for and why? OR
What do you learn about Firozabad from the chapter lost spring?
A. The City of Firozabad is famous for its glass bangles. Every other family in Firozabad is engaged in making bangles. It is the centre of India’s glass-blowing industry. Families have spent generations working around furnaces welding glass making bangles for all the women in the land.
Q. 5 How is Mukesh’s attitude to his situation different from that of his family?
A. Unlike his family members, and others of his community, he has dared to dream. His Grandmother’s words about the unbreakable lineage represent the attitude they have towards their situation in life. They believe that it is their destiny to toil as bangle makers. But Mukesh dreams of a better and safer career.
Q. 6. What kind of problems or diseases can be caused by working in bangle factories?
A. In a bangle factory The impoverished workers toil in ill-lit ventilated rooms in an unhygienic and dingy environment. The furnaces they work in have extremely high temperature and lack proper ventilation. Children have their backs bent in a very young age, they lose their eyesight and become old before time.
Extra Questions of Lost Spring With Snswers
Q. 1. To which country did Saheb’s parents originally belong? Why did they come to India?
A. Saheb’s parents were originally from Bangladesh (Dhaka). They came to India to earn their living because the floods in Dhaka had damaged their fields and their home.
Q. 2. What is Saheb looking for in the garbage dumps. From where did he come and why?
A. The Saheb family came from Bangladesh in 1971 to live in Seemapuri, Delhi. They came because their homes and fields had been destroyed by storms. There was nothing left to live on.
He was always looking for a coin or a rupee or something of value in the garbage dumps. He did this as he didn’t have any other work to do. The garbage dump was Saheb’s treasure box.
Q. 3. Describe the irony in Saheb’s name?
A. The full name of Saheb was Saheb-e-Alam. It means ‘the Lord of the Universe.’ But the irony was that the poor boy wasn’t even his own master. He was a rag-picker and refugee from Bangladesh whose family had settled in Seemapuri after storms and floods had destroyed their fields. Instead of being a lord, he wandered along the roads with other barefoot poor boys like him.
Q.4. What did garbage mean to the children of Seemapuri and to their parents?
A. To the children, the garbage is wrapped in wonder. They keep looking for something exciting in it – a coin, a ten rupee note. To parents, it was means of survival as it is the only means of their earning.
Q. 5. What job did Saheb take up? Was he happy?
A. Saheb took up a job at a tea stall where he got eight hundred rupees a month. No, he was not happy there as he had become a servant. He was no longer his own master and had to work according to the whims and fancies of the tea stall owner. He had lost his freedom.
Q. 6. What is Mukesh’s dream? Do you think he will be able to fulfil his dream? Why? Why not?
A. Mukesh is a young boy whose family is engaged in making bangles. Mukesh’s dream is to become a motor mechanic. Yes, he will be able to fulfil his dream as he has a strong determination and wants to improve his living condition.
Q. 7. Mention the hazard of working in a bangle factory?
A. The impoverished workers in the glass bangles industry toil in potentially hazardous working conditions while welding. The furnaces they work in have extremely high temperature and lack proper ventilation. Persistently working in low light conditions, without any protective eye gear, leaves them blind.
Q. 8. Why can’t the bangle makers of Firozabad organize themselves into cooperative?
A. The bangle makers of Firozabad can’t organize themselves because even if they get organised, they are the ones who will be hauled up by the police, beaten and dragged to jail for doing something illegal. There is no leader among them, no one could help them see things differently.
Q. 9. How is Mukesh different from other bangle makers of Firozabad?
A. Mukesh is different from other bangle makers of Firozabad because unlike others, he wanted to break the chains of age old family lineage and aspires to become a motor mechanic. He wanted to come out of the vicious circle of the life of poverty.
Q. 10. How are Saheb and Mukesh different from each other?
A. Saheb works for a dairy. He has lost his freedom and has no dreams. Mukesh on the other hand has dreams and aspires to become a motor mechanic.
Understanding The Text
Q. What could be some of the reasons for the migration of people from villages to cities?
Ans. The people migrate from villages to cities for various reasons. In order to meet their basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, the people from villages migrate to cities for livelihood. Sometimes natural or man-made disasters force people to move to cities from their native places. In the story ‘Lost Spring’, the people fled from Bangladesh because the storm swept away their fields and houses. They could not even get enough food to fill their stomachs there. A fine instance of this kind is the settlement of Seemapuri.
The people also migrate to cities to get better facilities and better job opportunities. Some people who are well-off at homes in villages move to cities to obtain to better education so that they can fulfil their dreams. There are some who migrate just to amass money and some go in order to gain name and fame. The social, economic and political environment plays a prominent role in lives of people. The lack of physical infrastructure such as medical support, better educational institutions and lack of multiple forms of employment and lack of public health amenities like sewage etc also force people to migrate to cities in order to get all these things. Above all, as there are limited opportunities for progress in villages, the people migrate to cities for a better lifestyle.People enjoy a better life in city more than the village. So, these are some reasons for migration.
Q. Would you agree that promises made to the poor children are rarely kept? Why do you think this happens in the incidents narrated in the text?
Ans. There is no denying that promises made to the poor children are rarely kept. In our modern democratic India, people living in slum colonies, resettlement areas, and jhuggi and jhopary colonies have little access to civic amenities and education. They’re meant to cast their votes or show their participation in political rallies. Their grievances are hardly adhered to by bureaucrats. The author gave two current examples of the residents of Seemapuri and Firozabad.
In Seemapuri you can see more than 10,000 rag-pickers living in mud strucutres, with tin roofs and tarpaulins. They’re devoid of sewage, drainage or running water. They live without an identity, except for a ration card to vote and buy grain. They’re still barefoot, and the garbage is gold. The writer asks for Saheb, a rag-picker at school. The boy says there’s none in his neighbourhood. He says he’s going to go if they build it. But it’s never done.
Likewise, about 20,000 children work in bangle factories and work in high-temperature glass furnaces. They live in dingy cells and stingy, garbage-choked lanes. In grinding poverty, they spend their lives failing to get proper food. There are no dreams and no initiatives for the poor. They are the most secure targets for exploitation.
Q. What forces conspire to keep the workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?
Ans. The workers are caught in two distinct worlds.These are:
1. The workers are caught in the web of poverty. They continue to lead a life of poverty and misery.
The workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad lack enough money to do anything except carry on the
business of making bangles. Their families have spent generations working around furnaces, welding glass, making bangles for all the women in the land. The young men who learn the art of making bangles from their elders follow in their footsteps. Their years of mind numbing toil have killed all initiative and ability to dream. They carry on the job of making bangles.
2. The other reason is that they do not have a leader who could organise them into a cooperative and improve their economic conditions. The bangle-makers are caught in the vicious circle of the sahukars, the middlemen, the keepers of the law, the bureaucrats and the politicians.
Both these worlds have imposed the baggage on the child that he cannot put down. Before he is aware, he accepts it as did his father. To do anything else would mean to dare. So this forces the workers to continue working in the bangle industry. This, they lead a life of misery and
Q. For most women, bangles are dreams in glass but for bangle makers of Firozabad they are a vicious circle they cannot wriggle out of. Comment.
Ans. Bangles—red, green, blue, yellow, etc.—have been the symbol of ‘suhaag’ and the auspiciousness of marriage in our country for centuries. It’s also a fashion statement for young and old women in today’s world. These glass bangles of varied shades decorating the wrist of a woman provide not only a visual treat, but also music of their own. These bangles spread joy and happiness in the lives of women. Ironically, however, these women do not realise that the creators of these gorgeous bangles themselves are leading a miserable life. After nearly 60 years of independence, Firozabad, the centre of the bangle industry, is an underdeveloped, backward town with no infrastructure or basic amenities. The city is like a dumping ground. The glass furnaces where the workers make brackets are ill-lit and low-ventilated, high-temperature dingy stoves. People here don’t even have one frugal meal a day. To add to the misery, all of them lose their eyes at a young age and live in a dark world for the rest of the world.
Long Answer Questions
Q.1 Explain the significance of title ‘Lost Spring’.
Ans: In this lesson titled ‘Lost Spring’, the author Anees Jung discusses, and analyses the grinding poverty and tradition that condemn kids to a life of exploitation. Saheb as a ragpicker whose parents left Bangladesh’s lives of abject poverty behind. His family lives in Seemapuri, as do many other rag-picker families. They live in a wretched state. The writer is pained to see the loss of the spark of childhood to Saheb, whose name means ruler of the earth. Then she continues to talk about Mukesh, who wants to be his own master. He has always worked in the glass making plant, coming from Firozabad, the centre of India’s bangle making and glass blowing industry. His family does not know that it is illegal for children to work with such high temperature furnaces in such close proximity. As they work in dark and dingy cells, they are exposed to various health risks, such as losing their eyesight. Firozabad’s family of bangle makers are so burdened that they’ve lost their ability to dream.
In this lesson, the author Anees Jung examines and analyses the grinding poverty and tradition that condemn children to a life of exploitation. Saheb as a ragpicker whose parents have left behind a life of abject poverty in Bangladesh. His family, like the many other families of rag pickers lives in Seemapuri. They live in miserable condition. The writer is pained to see Saheb, whose name means the ruler of the Earth, lose the spark of childhood. She then proceeds to tell about Mukesh who does want to be his own master. Hailing from Firozabad, the centre of India’s bangle making and glass blowing industry, he has always worked in the glass making factory. His family does not know that it is illegal for children to work in such close to furnaces with such high temperatures. They are exposed to various health hazards like losing their eyesight as they work in dark and dingy cells. The family of bangle maker of Firozabad are so burdened that they have lost their ability to dream. The writer’s observation is that these poor hopeless people are only pawns in the games played by the Sahukars, the middlemen, the police, the bureaucrats, and the politicians.
The title is meaningful, as they have lost their spring (childhood). The writer has beautifully essayed the storey of a stolen childhood with a view to making us aware of the plight of these poor, unfortunate children.
Q. 2 How is the line ‘few airplanes fly over Firozabad’ symbolically significant?
A.The author finds a spark of motivation in Mukesh, who is quite determined to realise his dream of becoming a motor mechanic. He’s ready to go to a garage far from his home. The author asks if he ever dreams of flying a plane-he is embarrassed by the question, and Mukesh answers in the negative. He is satisfied with the more tangible and attainable dream of the fast-moving cars he saw on the streets every day. Airplanes symbolise something distant, just like a far-fetched dream—the Firozabad people were not exposed to such great dreams.
Q.3. Why should child labour be eliminated and how?
A. Child labour should be eliminated because it takes away from a child his childhood and the prospect of elementary education . In addition, since child labourers are inexpensive and therefore engaged in dangerous and dangerous jobs, they are often susceptible to mental and physical illness. It is essential to make education easily accessible in order to curb this issue. In addition, parents need to be made aware of the implications of working in harmful environments. It is also essential to make the public aware that child labour is a criminal offence and is punishable by law. The government must ensure the punishment of offenders and the enforcement of stricter child labour laws.
Important Exam Questions With Answers
Q. Who was Saheb what was he doing and why?
A. Saheb was a young boy of school-going age. He was looking for gold in the garbage dumps of the big city. He had left his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh and came to the big city in search of the living. He has nothing else to do but pick rags.
Q. How did Saheb’s life change at the tea stall?
A. Saheb’s life changed considerably after he started working at the tea stall. Earlier he was better off while doing the rag-picking than working at the tea stall because then he was a slave to none. He could go anywhere he wanted. But at the tea stall, he is a slave to the tea stall owner.
Q. What was Mukesh dream?
A. Mukesh is the son of a poor bangle-maker of Firozabad, where every other family is engaged in making bangles. His poor father has failed to renovate his house or send his two sons to school. Mukesh insists on being his own master. His dream is to be a motor mechanic.
Q. Why is Mukesh realistic about his dream?
A. Doing anything other than what his generations have been doing needs courage. He intends to do something other than what his forefathers have been doing. It is his courage which shows that Mukesh can realise his dream. Moreover, he has a very realistic dream which does not seem beyond him.
Q. Who takes away Saheb’s freedom at the end of the story?
A. The job at the tea stall takes away Saheb’s freedom. This is because earlier he was his own master and could do as he likes.
Q. What changes do you find in Saheb’s life when he stops rag picking and starts working at a tea stall?
A. When Saheb stops rag-picking and starts working at a tea-stall, a lot of changes come about in his life. When he was a rag-picker, he led a carefree life. He was not answerable to anybody. He was always in quest of a heap ‘wrapped in wonder’ as many a time a rupee or ten was found in it.
Q. What is the irony in Saheb’s name?
A. Saheb’s full name was Saheb -e- Alam which means ‘the lord of universe’. The irony in his name was that he was a poor rag picker who did not even have chappals to wear. His state of life was not even close to that of a lord. He walked on the streets barefooted to earn his living and looked into the garbage for gold coins or something to survive his days.
Q. What force Saheb is a rag-picker?
A. Saheb hails from the green fields of Dhaka. His house and field were swept away by the storms. Their poverty and pitiable conditions of life forced him to become a rag-picker in Seemapuri, a suburban colony of East Delhi. He is always looking for gold in garbage dumps.
Q. What message does the title ‘Lost Spring’ conveys?
A. The title ‘Lost Spring’ conveys how millions of children in India lose out on living the ‘spring’ of their lives, that is their childhood. Poverty forces these young children to work in the most inhuman conditions as a result of which they miss out on the fun of childhood which hampers their growth.
Q. Is the title Lost Spring appropriate to the story?
A. The title ” Lost Spring: Stories of Stolen Childhood” is the most appropriate title for this lesson as it gives the description about the desperate conditions of two main characters Saheb and Mukesh who were living in utter poverty and were bound to do child labour in the very tender ages -the ‘spring’ of their lives.
Q. What do you think is the theme of lost spring?
A. The theme of the chapter is the grinding poverty and the traditions which condemn poor children to a life of exploitation. The two stories taken together depict the plight of street children forced into labour early in life and denied the opportunity of schooling.
Q. What does Lost Spring mean?
A. The title of the chapter ‘Lost Spring’ is a metaphor used for loss of childhood of millions of child labourers in India. Spring is symbolic of joy, happiness, beauty, and hope. Childhood can be called the spring of a man’s life.
Q. What were the main problems faced by the bangle makers of Firozabad?
A. Following are the difficulties, faced by the bangle makers of Firozabad: They work in the dingy cells without air and light. They work in high temperatures in front of hot furnaces. Dust from polishing bangles affect their eyes and sometimes causes blindness.
Q. How is Mukesh different from other bangle makers?
A. Mukesh, who hailed from the city of Dhaka, was different from other bangle makers of Firozabad because he liked to dream, unlike others who followed the family lineage of making bangles. He wanted to be a motor mechanic and drive cars.
Q. What did the writer see when Mukesh took him to his home?
A. The writer saw that it was in a slum area. The lanes were stinking They were choked with garbage. Thomas looked hotels.
Q. Why did Saheb’s parents leave Dhaka?
A. Saheb’s home was set amidst the green fields of Dhaka. His mother told him that many storms had swept away their fields and homes. For this reason, his parents were forced to leave Dhaka and migrate to India, looking for gold in the big city where they now live.
Long Answer Questions (V.Important)
Q.1. Grinding poverty and tradition condemn the children of ragpickers or bangle makers to a life of exploitation. Such children are deprived of all opportunities in life. Mukesh, who opts out of the existing profession of his forefathers by resolving to start a new job of a motor mechanic symbolises the modern youth. What lesson do we learn from Mukesh’s example?
Ans. It is not only the grinding poverty but also tradition that condemns the children of ragpickers or bangle makers to live a life of exploitation. On one side is the family, trapped in poverty and burdened by stigma of the caste they are born in, on the other side they are trapped in the vicious circle of inhuman Sahukars, the middlemen, the policemen, the so called keepers of law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. All of them have created a situation, from which there is no way out. The trapped do not have the guts to break out of it. Mukesh, in fact is like a ray of hope with his dreams of becoming a motor mechanic. He wants to opt out of the existing profession of his forefathers. He has resolved to start a new job as a motor mechanic. The long distance to the garage where he will learn the work of a motor mechanic does not deter him. He is prepared to walk. But he is firm. He symbolises the youth of his clan. If this persists, the day is not far when a new generation will bring brightness and hope to the dark and dingy homes of these poverty-ridden workers.
Q.2. How is Mukesh more ambitious in life than Saheb? Give a reasoned answer.
How is Mukesh’s attitude towards his situation different from that of Saheb? Why?
Ans. Mukesh is definitely more ambitions than Saheb. Unlike most of his friends in Firozabad, Mukesh did not want to follow the profession of making bangles. No one else could dare to think of breaking the conventional style of living. Mukesh dreamt of becoming a motor-mechanic. He had already decided to go to a garage and learn about cars. Though the garage was a long way from his home, he was prepared to walk that distance. He insisted on becoming his own master.
Saheb, on the other hand had sacrificed his freedom as a ragpicker to take up a salaried job that would pay him 800 rupees and give him all his meals. Now he was no longer his own master. He had lost his carefree look (which he had when he was a ragpicker). The can that he carried seemed heavier than the bag he carried as a ragpicker, for this job was not to his liking.
Q.3. The barefoot ragpickers of Seemapuri live on the periphery of Delhi yet, metaphorically speaking, miles away from it. Comment.
Ans. The barefoot ragpickers of Seemapuri live on the periphery of Delhi yet, metaphorically speaking, miles away from it, sums up the true condition of the ragpickers of Seemapuri. Seemapuri is a slum area, which houses approximately 10,000 ragpickers. They live in mud houses with roofs of tin and tarpaulin. There is no sewage, drainage or running water. They came here from Bangladesh in 1971 and have been living here ever since without any identity of their own or permits, but they have ration cards and their names figure in the voter’s list. Women wear tattered saris. Survival in Seemapuri means ragpicking. This is an example of the gross negligence and apathy of the Delhi Government. It has failed to do anything for them. Though Seemapuri is so close to Delhi, almost on its periphery, but the glitter and glamour, advantages like education, proper facilities for living a clean and decent life are beyond the reach of these slum dwellers of Seemapuri, which is so close to Delhi yet so far.
Q.4. The bangle makers of Firozabad make beautiful bangles and make everyone happy but they live and die in squalor. Elaborate.
Ans. The bangle makers of Firozabad live in utter poverty, generation after generation. They believe that they are the people who are destined to work as glass banglemakers. They make beautiful bangles for women but they live in the dark. The workers have to look at the hot bright furnaces while polishing bangles. While welding pieces of coloured glass into bangles they have no other option but are forced to sit near flickering lamps. Hence, they are forced to stay in dark room huts and their eyes are not in a position to see the daylight outside. They become blind quite early in life. They are in a vicious circle tossed around by moneylenders, middlemen and politicians. Instead of helping them, the law enforcing authorities only prey on them.
Q.5. Give a brief account of the life and activities of people like Saheb-e-Alam settled in Seemapuri.
Ans. Saheb is a poor boy belonging to a refugee family from Bangladesh. His family came to Delhi and settled in the trans-Yamuna area called Seemapuri. Here they have no work to do. They pick garbage for their livelihood. Saheb also, like others, looks and searches the garbage dumps for some coins. They leave their houses in the morning with a bag on their back to collect something from the garbage. They remain barefoot. It has become their habit not to wear any footwear. The families like Saheb’s left behind a life of abject poverty in flood-hit areas of Bangladesh and came to India. They move to big cities in the hope of getting some work. In the absence of work, they begin rag picking.
Q.6. ‘Lost Spring’ explains the grinding poverty and traditions that condemn thousands of people to a life of abject poverty. Do you agree? Why/Why not? Ans. Yes, I fully agree that ‘Lost Spring’ explains abject poverty. Saheb-e-Alam came alongwith his family from Bangladesh to Delhi. His family settled on the banks of the Yamuna river. Here, they have no work to do and no house to live in. So they began the work of rag-picking. His family lives a hand-to-mouth existence. Thus this lesson deals with the plight of street children like Saheb-e-Alam, and Mukesh of Firozabad working in a glass bangle factory. The children of such families are forced to labour early in life and denied the opportunities of going to school. These children are trapped in the vicious circle of social stigma, tradition, poverty and exploitation. Thus the title of the story rightly explains and brings out the depravity of child labour in our country.
Q.7. What contrast do you notice between the colour of the bangles and the atmosphere of the place where these bangles are made?
Ans. The dusty streets of Firozabad, the bangle making district, are overflowing with garbage and the stink is overwhelming. The hovels where the bangle makers dwell have walls that are crumbling down, with unstable doors and no windows. The conditions are so terrible that families of humans and animals live together. The drabness and lack of colour in the lives of these people contrast starkly with the colour of the bangles which lie everywhere—“sunny gold, paddy green, royal blue, pink, purple, every colour born out of the seven colours of the rainbow”. The unhappiness and tedium in the lives of the bangle makers contrasts the joy and merriment that their bangles will bring to the women who will buy and wear them.
Q.8. What did the writer see when Mukesh took her to his home?
Ans. The writer realised that it was a slum area. The lanes were stinking and were choked with garbage. The homes looked like hovels. Their walls were crumbling. The doors were wobbly, with no windows. The homes were crowded with humans and animals living together. Mukesh’s home looked like a half-built shack. In one of its parts, a firewood stove had a large vessel on it. A frail young woman cooked the evening meal. She was the wife of Mukesh’s elder brother. As Mukesh’s father came in, she brought her veil closer to her face. The old man was a poor bangle maker. Even after long years of hard labour, he had been unable to renovate his house. He was unable to send his two sons to school. Mukesh’s grandmother was also there. Her husband had become blind with dust from the polishing of glass bangles.
Q.9. Describe the difficulties the bangle makers of Firozabad have to face in their lives.
Describe the circumstances which keep the workers in the bangle industry in poverty.
Ans. The bangle-makers of Firozabad live in utter poverty generation after generation. They believe that they are the people who are destined to work as glass bangle-makers. They make beautiful bangles for women but they live in dark. The workers have to look at the hot bright furnaces while polishing bangles. While welding pieces of coloured glass into bangles they have no other option but are forced to sit near flickering lamps. Hence, they are forced to stay in a dark room and their eyes are not in a position to see the daylight outside. They become blind even before they become adults. Their life is embroiled in a web that is created the moneylenders, middlemen and politicians. Instead of helping them, the law enforcing authorities only prey upon their misfortunes.
Q.10. In the lesson ‘Lost Spring’, Saheb and Mukesh are deprived of their childhood pleasures and education. Noble Peace prize winners Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai have been fighting for the rights of the children. Motivated by these activists, you write an article on the topic, ‘Evils of child labour and denial of Education’.
You are Mahesh/Malvika. Write your article in about 125-150 words.
EVILS OF CHILD LABOUR AND DENIAL OF EDUCATION
Child labour has been a major problem not only in India but in all the developing countries. It is a great social problem.
We often find children working in dhabas, factories, tea-stalls, fields and homes. They often become ragpickers and street performers. All this deprives children of a normal, carefree childhood. Schooling becomes a distant dream and a perpetual state of poverty becomes a reality. Dreams become a mirage.
Child labour is often borne out of the need for survival. Often the reason is to increase the income of a poor family. Industries often employ children under 14, in the hope of reducing the labour cost in their organisation.
In a developed society where every citizen counts and all citizens have to have proper education, health care support, games and entertainment, a child with less or absolutely no education finds it hard to survive.
Taking up a small job as a domestic help or in a restaurant for a nominal salary of ₹ 750-1800 per month, does not leave a child with enough time for primary and secondary education. All this renders a child completely illiterate, unskilled and perhaps unhealthy.
Free education should be provided to poor children to motivate their parents to send them to school. The government should come forward with schemes for upliftment of the poor and unemployed. This will take away the burden of earning their livelihood from the tender shoulders of poor children. Hence, no child should be engaged as labourers, both from a legal point of view as well in the interest of the child’s future.