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Children’s painstaking work in Afghanistan’s brick kilns – Times of India

Kabul: Nabila Working more than ten hours a day, doing heavy and dirty labor such as packing mud into molds and carrying wheelbarrows full of bricks. and probably the oldest of his colleagues.
Too many children are already in work Afghanistan The growth has been boosted by the economic collapse after the 1990s. Taliban took over the country and the world cut off financial aid just over a year ago.
A recent study by save the children With livelihoods collapsing, it is estimated that half of Afghan families have children working to keep food on the table.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the many brick factories on the highway north of the capital. KabulThe environment inside the furnace is harsh even for adults. But most of the time, a 4-year-old or her 5-year-old child works with the family from early morning until it gets dark in the summer heat.
Children do all the steps of making bricks. They carry canisters of water and molds of wooden bricks full of mud to dry in the sun. A wheelbarrow full of dry bricks is loaded into the kiln for firing and pushed, then the wheelbarrow full of fired bricks is pushed back. Everywhere they are lifting, stacking and sorting bricks. They pick the still usable charcoal from the smoldering kiln, inhaling the soot and burning their fingers.
Children work with ageless determination and a rigorous sense of responsibility born of knowing little but the needs of their families. Smile and shrug when asked about toys and games. Only a few have ever been to school.
Twelve-year-old Nabila has been working in a brick factory since she was five or six. Like many other bricklayers, her family spends part of the year working in a kiln near Kabul and the rest of the time in an outdoor kiln. Jalalabadnear the Pakistan border.
A few years ago she started attending a school in Jalalabad for a bit. She wants to go back to school, but she can’t. Her family needs her job to survive.
“We can’t think of anything but work,” she said.
Mohabbat, a 9-year-old boy, paused for a moment with anguished expression as he was carrying a pile of charcoal. “My back hurts,” he said.
When I was asked about my wish, I was first asked, “What is a wish?”
After the explanation was over, he was silent for a while and thought. “I want to go to school and eat good food,” he said, “I want to work hard so I can have a house.”
The landscape around the factory is desolate and barren, with black soot rising from the chimneys of the kilns. The family lives in a dilapidated mud house next to the furnace, each with a brick-making corner. Most of the time, the meal of the day is bread soaked in tea.
Rahim Three children aged 5 to 12 work together in a brick kiln. But even before the Taliban came to power, he said he had no choice as the war continued and the economy deteriorated.
“There is no other way,” he said. “How can they study when there is no bread for us to eat? survival more important. ”
Workers earn $4 for every 1,000 bricks they make. One adult working alone with her labor says that he cannot achieve this amount in one day, but that with the help of children, he can make 1,500 bricks in one day. person says.
A Save the Children survey found that the percentage of families reporting having children working outside the home increased from 18% to 22% from December to June. This meant more than 1 million of her children were working across the country. Another 22% of her children said they were asked to work in the family business or farm.
The survey included more than 1,400 children and 1,400 caregivers in seven states. They also noted that Afghan life is rapidly collapsing. In June, 77% of her surveyed families reported losing more than half their income compared to a year ago, up from 61% of her in December.
One day recently, it began to rain lightly at a kiln. Then the wind blew. A blast of dust hit them and covered their faces. The air turned yellow with dust. Some children couldn’t open their eyes, but I did my best. The rain turned into a downpour.
The children were soaking wet. One boy was spilled with water and mud, but he said, like all boys, he could not evacuate until the job was done. Streams from torrential rains have carved trenches into the soil around them.
“We are used to it,” he said. Then he said to another boy, “Hurry up and finish it.”

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