Children at Work Summary Analysis and Explanation

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

Children at Work Summary Analysis and Explanation By Jack Prelutsky

About the Poet Jack Prelutsky

Poet Name Jack Prelutsky
Born 8 September 1940 (age 79 years), Brooklyn, New York, United States
Education High School of Music & Art (1958), Hunter College
Spouse Carolynn Prelutsky (m. 1979)
Movies A Pizza the Size of the Sun
Jack Prelutsky - children at work summary class 8
Jack Prelutsky

Summary of Children at Work Introduction

The story portrays the pathetic condition of the poor in the city. A boy ran away from home and fell into the trap of life of indignity. He found the life of the village better as compared to the city. Survival in the city is a constant struggle for the poor. Children work for survival instead of school. Their childhood is crushed under the cruel hands of poverty.

Children at Work Summary of the Lesson

The protagonist is an eleven – year old boy, ran away from home because of distraught in his family. He got down at Chennai Central carrying a small bundle by Kanyakumari express.

He rested on a platform for some time then he sat on a bench. He was surprised to see a mass of people. He observed that people were in a great rush. The frequent announcement attracted his attention, he found the surroundings chaotic.

Velu was sad and miserable. He hadn’t had anything other than some peanuts and jaggery. He walked down to Kannur for a day and then took the train to Chennai. He slept on the floor near the door.

His meditation was broken when a girl called him up. She was behind his bench. She wore banian had untidy hair, and holding a huge sack on her shoulder. She picked up garbage from the platform and put that in her sack.

She asked him if he had run away from his home. He was lost in his own thoughts that his father spent the money he and his sister earned on his drinks. She told him that so many children of his age come to the city to become rich.

She asked him if he was hungry and assured him to find something for him. Velu was in a dilemma about whether to trust and follow the girl or not.

The girl went ahead and was not much interested in seeing him following. However, he followed her to the road. He was scared to see so many vehicles on the road and could not cross the road.

The girl came to his rescue and helped him to cross the road. She warned him not to freeze in between the road. He was amazed to see huge signboards with the varied pictures. He could not understand the words written on them as they were in English.

The girl walked up to a bridge from where Velu peeped through the railing. She advised him not to get caught as they were passing beside the central jail. She moved ahead with a sack on her shoulder Velu was inquisitive to know what was she carrying in that yet could not dare to ask.

Velu realized that walking bare feet was intolerable on the road whereas he could easily roam around in the village. He tried to walk in shade and altogether kept pace with the girl.

It took almost an hour to reach a building where the marriage ceremony was going on. She led him behind it to a garbage bin which was stinky. She threw a vada towards him. When she was observed that he was hesitant, she told him that she did not have any money to buy food.

Velu surrendered before the high intensity of hunger. She asked if he was coming along or wanting to wait. He was aware of the fact that he could not manage alone so he ran after her.

He asked for her name and then they both moved further towards her home. He observed that the hutments were made of metal sheets, tires, bricks, wood, and plastic. He told her that houses in his village were built with mud and palm leaves.

She put her full sack and picked up another sack. She gave him shoes to wear.

He was puzzled with the utility of garbage for the girl. He knew the job of working in the land owner’s farm and taking cows to graze. He asked if there were any farms. Jaya told him that there were no farms. She called herself a rag picker.

She further added that they were selling their rubbish for money. She rebuked him for taking too long to decide. Velu was optimistic enough so he agreed to the job. He knew that he could switch over to a new & better job in the future.