“Lost Spring” English class 12 NCERT Summary and Question answers

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LOST SPRING (Anees Jung)

LOST SPRING – Explanation

The given is an extract from a book titled Lost Spring, stories of stolen childhood written by Anees Jung. The chapter consists of two stories, the first one named  ‘sometimes i find a rupee in the garbage’ and the second is ‘i want to drive a car’.

Both the stories based on how poverty affects the future of the children and why it’s so hard to break the chain of poverty that is passing from generation to generation.

Sometimes I find a rupee in the garbage

In the stories given the writer tells us about her encounters with children from deprived backgrounds. The first encounter is with a ragpicker boy named Saheb. The writer sees him every morning visiting the garbage dump near her house and searching for ‘gold’ in it. One day the writer asks saheb the reason for shuffling through the garbage, to which saheb replies that he has nothing else to do other than rag picking. The writer suggests that he should go to school. She realizes that her advice is meaningless for the poor boy. He replies that there are no schools in the area where he lives. He also assures her that he will go to school when one is built near his house. She jokingly told him that she would open a school. After some time the little boy walked up to her to ask about the school about which the author felt embarrassed as this promise was also like many other promises made to poor children that remain unfulfilled.

One day, the author got to know that the little boy’s name and found out that his name was saheb-e-alam which meant lord of the universe, the writer thought that the boy must be unknown of  his name meaning which he would not be able to believe it.  There were many ragpickers and most of them didn’t have chappals. Anees was told that going barefoot was a way to follow tradition which she realizes as an excuse to poverty. The author is reminded of a man who as a young boy prayed for a pair of shoes. Thirty years later the author revisits that place and saw a new priest’s home and a boy there, wearing socks and shoes. But the author was still sad thinking about the ragpickers who were still shoeless. The ragpickers lived on the outskirts of Delhi at seemapuri. They lived in small mud structures with roof of tin and tarpaulin. They were deprived of basic amenities. Food was the most important thing for them so that they don’t have to sleep on empty stomach. Saheb told the author that sometimes he found a ten rupee note or a coin in the garbage and that was his gold.

One winter morning Anees noticed saheb with tennis shoes. Though they were mismatched with his faded clothes, they were very dear to him. One morning the author noticed saheb with a steel container, going to a milk booth. He had got a job at a tea-stall with a pay of eight hundred rupees plus meals. But the author realizes that he no longer looked carefree because he had been burdened by the responsibility of a job.

I want to drive a car

The second story is of a boy named Mukesh who belonged to a family of bangle makers in Firozabad. The boy had a dream of becoming a car mechanic. On the contrary, his family was traditionally engaged in bangle making, although the profession harmed them physically and they hardly earned any money out of it.

The author comments on the ignorance of the people there who involve their children in glass industry at such a young age. Mukesh happily agrees to take the author to his home which is being rebuilt. They enter a half build shack. Food was being cooked on a firewood stove by a young woman. She was Mukesh’s elder brother’s wife, the bahu of the family. When the older man entered the house she pulled her veil close to her face. The older man was a bangle maker. He worked hard all his life first as a tailor and then as a bangle maker. He could not give his children education but taught them the art of bangle making. Mukesh’s grandmother believes in destiny, she also believes that bangle making is a god given lineage. Young boys and girls work in dark places and become prone to lose their eye sight at an early age. Savita is a young girl dressed in pink she works with her parents and even in dark her hands move fast. She does not realizes the significance of bangles in the life of Indian women at this young age. But she will realizes it once she is married. The situation is ironical because all girl child labourers will eventually become brides and wear those bangles. The old lady sitting next to her has lost her eyesight and complains of poverty. They had enough to eat despite all the hard work.

A common complaint of all families involved in bangle-making is lack of money for food. Nothing has changed since a long time. The author gives suggestions to avoid the circle of middlemen. But the people there tells her that if they get organised they would be beaten up by police and put in jail. These poor people have no leader and they are caught in the ruthless cycle of poverty, injustice and greed

The author feels they are present two distinct worlds. One is people caught in the clutches of poverty and burdened by the stigma of caste. Secondly, these people are also caught in the vicious circle of middlemen, policemen, and politicians. It is because of such people that the children are weighed down with responsibilities at such a tender age. The children accept it as naturally as their parents did. No one dares to deviate. The author sees the daring attitude in Mukesh and hopes he will fulfil his dream one day. Mukesh insists on becoming a motor mechanic. The writer asked that as the garage was at a distance from his home, Mukesh insisted that he would walk up to it.  Then she asked him if he dreamt of flying planes , to which he replied in negative while looking down at the ground. He had only seen cars moving around in Firozabad, as not many planes flew over Firozabad and his dreams were restricted up to the driving cars.

Imp Question and answers

Understanding the text

What could be some of the reasons for the migration of people from villages to cities?

Ans. People migrate from villages to cities in search of livelihood. Their fields fail to provide them means of survival. Cities provide employment, jobs or other means of getting food. The problem in case of the poor is to feed the hungry members. Survival is of primary concern.

Would you agree that promises made to poor children are rarely kept? Why do you think this happens in the incidents narrated in the text?

Ans. The promises made to the poor are rarely kept. The author asks Saheb half-joking, whether he will come to her school if she starts one. Saheb agrees to do so. A few days later he asks if the school is ready. The writer feels embarrassed at having made a promise that was not meant. Promises like hers abound in every comer of their bleak world.

What forces conspire to keep the workers in the bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty?

Ans. Certain forces conspire to keep the workers in bangle industry of Firozabad in poverty. These include the moneylenders, the middlemen, the policemen, the keepers of law, the bureaucrats and the politicians. Together they impose a heavy burden on the child.

Talking about the text

How, in your opinion, can Mukesh realise his dream?

Ans. Mukesh is the son of a poor bangle-maker of Firozabad. Most of the young men of Firozabad have no initiative or ability to dream, but Mukesh is an exception. He has the capacity to take courage and break from the traditional family occupation. He has strong will power also. He does not want to be a pawn

Mention the hazards of working in the glass bangles industry.

Ans. The environment of glass bangles industry is very dangerous , unhealthy and hazardous for the people working there. The workers have to constantly the glass furnaces with high temperature in dingy cells without air and light. The high temperature in the factory can cause several skin problems as well as harmful for eyes and internal organs too. The workers lose their eyesight at an early age.

Why should child labour be eliminated and how?

Ans. Every child has a right to enjoy their childhood. And child labour is a curse to such innocent mind, child labour has adversely affect on such young mind. In India there is a famous saying that ‘ god lives in a child’ so making a child work is such a sin. Work steals their childhood. Children should not be employed at such tender age as they are so innocent stage.
In most of the cases the reason for child labour is unemployment. The unemployed parents or parents earning very less to afford the basic necessities so they are forced to send their children for work for survival. The only thing that can eliminate is good education with the security of proper nutrition. In our country child labour is illegal, and there is provision of punishment also. But the government should focus more on the reasons than punishing people responsible for child labour. The government should create better jobs for poor so that they can get basic things required for their surrival, secondly the government should focus on the betterment of education in government school, schemes like mid day meal should be broaden. These things backed by law can very helpful in the eradication of child labour and can save the childhood of many children.

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