Thousands of people from the district leave home to work as brick kiln labourers in different areas of the country during the dry season from mid-October to April every year.
As school going children of the poor people often accompany them to the workplace, their study is badly affected.
“Around 30 thousand people from Hatibandha and Patgram upazilas in Lalmonirhat go to other places for selling their labour at brick fields for around six months as jobs are not that available in this region and wages are low,” said Atiar Rahman, a contractor of labourers at Barakhata village of Hatibandha.
All members of many poor families, except aged ones, go to the workplace, said Nayeb Ali of the same village, engaged in sending labourers from the area to work in brick fields at different places for the last eight years.
Nasrin Akhter, a Class IX student, and his brother Omar Farooque, a Class IV student, said they are going with their parents to the workplace and will return home before the annual examinations.
“After attending the annual examinations, our two children will again join us at our workplace. Only my elderly mother will stay at home during the six months,” said Zamir Ali, 46, father of Nasrin and Omar.
“Sometimes our children help us in brick making but they are not contracted for doing this job in the brick field. Meantime, they continue learning their lessons in our rented room beside the workplace,” said Zamir’s wife Fatema Begum, 40.
“A labourer earns Tk 500 to 600 daily for making bricks. After meeting our expenses, each of us can save around Tk one lakh in six months, which comes as a great help for our poor families,” said Saidur Rahman, 42, a brick kiln labourer.
Delowar Hossain, teacher of a government primary school at Barakhata village, said many school children remain absent for six months as they accompany their poor parents to the workplace.