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THE LOST SPRING-Question and Answer

1. What does Saheb do for living? Why?

Ans.Saheb is a rag picker. His family has left the life of poverty behind in Dhaka in to pursue their dream of finding a better life. The children like him have no access to Education and are forced into rag picking.

2. “Saheb is no longer his own master”, says the writer. What does she mean?

Ans.The writer means that having accepted the job with the tea‐stall, Saheb has lost the independence that he enjoyed as a rag picker, even though he was poor. Although he will now be able to supplement the family income, it will be at the cost of his freedom,which is difficult, binding and unfair for someone so young.

3. Why did people migrate from the village in Dhaka to Delhi ?

Ans.Better education, job opportunities and living conditions.

4. What trade does the family of Mukesh follow? Why does the writer feel that it will be difficult for Mukesh to break away from this tradition?

Ans.Engaged in bangle making‐difficult to break away from this trade. He belongs to the caste of bangle makers His family is caught in the web of sahukars, the middlemen, policemen, politicians and bureaucrats, from which there is no escape.

5. What does garbage symbolize for the adults and children?

Ans.Adults –means of earning a livelihood.

Children –wrapped in wonder, magical

Q.1. Explain the significance of title ‘Lost Spring’.

Ans: 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 but pawn in the games that are played by Sahukars, middlemen, the policemen, the bureaucrats and the politicians. The title is meaningful as they lost their spring (childhood). The writer has beautifully essayed the story of stolen childhood with a view to sensitizing us to the plight of these poor unfortunate children.

Q.2 .Why do children walk barefoot, in cities, or on village roads? Is it a tradition or something else? What does the author Anees Jung sate about it in her story ‘Lost Spring’?

Ans: In this story the author analyses the grinding poverty and traditions that condemn children to a life of exploitation. She has been noticing the group of barefoot rag pickers children for many months. She asks one why he is not wearing footwear. Another adds if he gets, he will throw them off. A third boy says that he wants shoes, he has never owned a pair all his life. Then the author tells a story of a man from Udipi as a young school boy, every morning on his way to school he would briefly stop at the temple and pray the goddess for a pair of shoes. When he had finally got a pair of shoes, he prayed, “Let me never lose them.” When Sahib wears pairs of discarded tennis shoes due to a hole in one of them, it does not bother him. For one who has walked barefoot even shoes with a hole is a dream comes true. The reality of life is that there are number of innocent children who lose the spring (youth) of their lives under the threat of grinding poverty which exploit them under the demand of nature for satisfying their hunger for their survival. It is not due to lack of money but a tradition to stay barefoot, is one explanation. This is only an excuse for the continuing state of poverty which is the cause of the children staying barefoot in cities or on village roads.

Short-answer questions:

Q.1.Who is Saheb? What is he looking for in the garbage dumps and where has he come from?

Ans: Saheb is a rag-picker of Seemapuri. The writer encounters him every morning scrounging for gold in the garbage dumps in her neighbourhood. He hails from Dhaka and he was migrated from Bangladesh in 1971. His house and fields were destroyed by storm.

Q.2. Why do these children remain barefoot?          

Ans: Throughout the country the author has seen many barefoot rag picker children. On asking about not wearing chappals, they many excuses. One says that his mother has not brought them down from the shelf. Another point out that he will throw them if she brings. The third one replies that it is an excuse. It is not the lack of money.

Q.3. What is the condition of the children working in the glass factory/ furnaces of Firozabad?

Ans: More than 20,000 children are illegally working in glass blowing factories in Firoza- bad. They work around furnaces in high temperatures to weld glasses. They work in dingy cells without light and air. Their eyes are adjusted to the dark than to the light outside. Many of them become victims of losing their eye-sight before they become adults. They work all day long.

Q.4. Who is Mukesh? What is his dream?

Ans: He belongs to the family of bangle maker in Firozabad where each family is engaged in bangle making. They live in half built huts. Mukesh says. ‘I will be a mother mechanic. I will learn to drive a car.’ Thus he wants to be his own master.

Q.5. ‘Garbage to them is gold.’ Why does the author say to about the rag-pickers?

Ans: More than 10,000 rag-pickers of Seemapuri live in squatters. For them is garbage is gold and it is wrapped in wonder. For a child, it is their bread. Sometimes a child can find a silver coin or more in a heap of garbage. For the elders it is a means of survival.

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