Lesson- 2. Children at work
Q.1 Is Velu a smart boy? Which instances in the text show that he is or isn’t?
Answer- Velu is not a smart boy. He has come to Chennai but he does not know what to do. He just sits on a bench with his head on his knees. Jaya offers to find him food if he goes with her. But he is too slow to decide. Jaya had to drag him across the road. He was hesitant and could have been run over by a vehicle. Even when Jaya gives him a sack and a stick to go with her to work, he scratches his head. But for Jaya he would have either starved to death or would have been counting bars in jail.
Q.2 Do you think Jaya is a brave and sensitive child with a sense of humour? Find instances of her courage, kind nature and humour in the text.
Answer- Jaya is indeed a brave and sensitive girl. She is mature for her age. She is sympathetic and kind. She sees that Velu is alone and dejected. She can immediately make out that he has run away from home and he is hungry. She tells him that he can’t find food if he keeps sitting there. Out of kindness she wants to help him. She finds food in a garbage bin. She offers a banana and a Vada to Velu. She tells him not to think he is a big hero. He should eat what he gets till he can have his own money to buy food. Later she offers him the only work she can give him-rag picking. She almost drags him to work to save him from starvation.
She has a great sense of humour. When Velu is hesitant to cross the road she asks him, “What were you doing? Grazing cows?”
She tells him to be careful otherwise ‘he will be counting bars.’ What a humour way of telling him that he could go to jail. When Velu decides to go after her and shouts to her she says, “So you have been following me around without even knowing my name?”
There are several instances that tell us she is a brave and sensitive girl with a great sense of humour and a desire to help other.
Q.3 What one throws away as waste may be valuable to other. Do you find this sentence meaningful in the context of this story? How?
Answer-This sentence is quite meaningful. People drink tea and coffee in plastic cups at railway station, and throw them away. People throw away papers, bottles and cardboards, etc. They have no use for them. But this ‘waste’ is valuable for many others. This waste can be recycled to make things useful again. So, thousands of rag pickers collect them and sell them to junk dealers, they, make their living out of it. Children like Jaya collect them and sell them to jam bazaar Jaggu, who sell them to a factory.
Even food which is eaten in hotels any at feasts goes waste. It is dumped into garbage bins. But there are animals and starving humans who eat to live. Velu would have died if Jaya had not found it for him.
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