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A family's struggle

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, April 10, 2014

HIS ailment has not deterred him from financially supporting his sick mother.

And even when he earns just $2 a day selling peas, Ronit Krishneel Dutt sacrifices his bus fare and uses that to buy vegetables for dinner.

The 17-year-old walks around Labasa Town every day selling peas and sweets.

Raised by a single mother, Ronit knows about the struggles mum Gita Devi endured to send him to school and put food on the table.

"But now she is sickly and most of the time, when she has her arthritis, she can't walk properly or even sit up," he said.

"So, I have to sell the peas she makes to get money for us. After selling the sweets in town, I buy some food and other things we need at home.

"There are times when I can only earn $2, so I use all that money to buy vegetables for our dinner."

Ronit dropped out of school last year because he couldn't cope with academic work.

When he was 15, he attended Class 1 at Bethel Primary School but his mum could not afford to pay the fees, so she enrolled him in another school.

Ms Devi said at Labasa Muslim Primary School, Ronit enjoyed the environment and was doing well in school.

"But because he was 16 years old, the teachers thought of putting him in Class Eight. When that happened, he lost interest in school," she said.

"He told me the work was too difficult for him to understand, so he quit.

"My son has supported us and looked after us very well. If he has no bus fare, he walks to town to sell the peas and doesn't complain.

"I am blessed to have him."

Ms Devi is pleading with the public for assistance in any form. Those willing to help Ms Devi and Rohit can contact them on 8758748.

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