Isquah Uddin Mumin lives with his family near Cox’s Bazar. When he was 7 his parents sent him to a Madrasa school, but six months later he stopped going because his teacher would beat him and bully him. His parents decided to admit him to another school but couldn’t because it was the middle of the school year and they weren’t taking any admissions. At the beginning of the next school year Mumin was enrolled into a school but his parents struggled with the monthly school fees so he was forced to leave school and go to work as a labourer in the fish drying plants.
Mumin worked long days for very little money and was very unhappy because he wanted to go to school and the owner of the fish drying plant would beat him and would not always pay him the wage he had earned. Mumin also developed a painful skin disease as a result of working with pesticides. He would beg his mother to send him to school, but his mother replied that education is not for poor people like them.
Days passed, then months, but Mumin continued struggling to earn money for his family, while his friends all went to school. Following a baseline survey conducted by the project team, they came to know about Mumin and his situation. The community facilitator went to talk with Mumin and his parents, and although his parents did want him to have an education, they said they simply could not afford it. When they learned that uniform, books and pens would be provided, and that there was no admission or monthly fee, his parents committed to sending their son to school.
Project staff then went to talk to the plant owner about child rights and the illegality of child labour. After hearing this the owner agreed to release Mumin from his plant.
Now Mumin goes to school every day and plays with his classmates. His mother is pleased with the change in him saying “Now our Mumin uses Bangla language and he is aware about cleanliness and we have also have become aware about hygiene issues by learning from him”. Mumin now wants to be a doctor so that he can serve the people of his community.