What does Anees Jung want to reveal in her story ‘Lost Spring’ Stories of Stolen Childhood?

Anees Jung has portrayed two stories in ‘Lost Spring’ and both depict the grinding poverty, pitiable condition of life and the other traditions that condemn the children to a life of exploitation. For the rag-pickers of Seemapuri, garbage is gold and means of survival. The bangle-makers of Firozabad live in dingy cells and stinking lanes. Even after much toil, they do not get full meal.


What change did Anees Jungsee in Saheb when he saw him standing by the gate of the neighbourhood club?

The narrator, Anees Jung encounters Saheb every morning scrounging for a gold in the garbage. He roams in the streets with an army of barefoot boys. They are too poor to afford to purchase shoes or chappals. One morning, the narrator sees Saheb standing by the fenced gate of a club. Two young men dressed in white are playing tennis. Saheb is much changed. The authoress is impressed to note that Saheb likes the game of tennis and goes inside when no one is around. He also swings there. He is wearing the discarded shoes of a rich man because there is a hole in one of them. His face is beaming with joy. It seems his dream has come true. Now he works in a tea-stall and get 800 rupees and all his meals. However, he has lost the carefree look because he is no longer his own master.


Why do children walk barefoot, in cities, or on village roads? Is it a tradition or something else? What does the authoress Anees Jung state about it in her story “Lost Spring-Stories of Stolen Childhood?
What does the authoress Anees Jung mean by saying that young boys like the son of the priest now wear shoes, but many others like the ragpickers in her neighbourhood remain shoeless?

The authoress, Anees Jung has been encountering the army of barefoot rag-picker children for many months. She asks one why he is not wearing chappals. 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. The authoress Anees Jung recollects a story of a man from Udipi as he told her. 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.” The goddess had granted his prayer.

When Saheb wears pair 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 on this earth is that there are millions 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.

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V. Imp.


“And survival in Seemapuri means ragpicking.” In the light of the remark describe the life of the people living in this colony.


Describe the life of squatters at Seemapuri.

A squatter occupies the public land without the government licence. The squatters have migrated from Bangaladesh to Seemapuri in East Delhi. they have settled there are setup their transit camps in a wilderness on the periphery of Delhi. The structures are made of wood with roofs of tin and tarpaulin.

The squatters are devoid of basic facilities like water, drainage and sewerage. They have ration cards to buy grains and for voting purposes. They look for gold by picking rags and there dwell more than 10,000 children. They move in the streets barefoot. Sometimes they find a coin but continue scrounging garbage in hope of find more. For the elders the garbage is gold. It is a means of survival for their children and is wrapped in wonder. They are abused but, can practise any criminal activity.


Elucidate the statement : “Food is more important for survival than an identity”.

Anees Jung encounters a rag-picker boy named Saheb daily in her neighbourhood. He is engaged in rag-picking and tells that he is scrounging for gold in the garbage dumps. He points out that they can find a silver coin, a rupee, a ten rupee note or more. More than 10,000 barefoot rag-pickers roam in the villages and the city roads.

In her visit to the settlement colony of Seemapuri, the writer finds them living in the structures of mud with roofs of tin and tarpaulin. They are devoid of sewage, drainage or running water. More than 10,000 rag- pickers have occupied illegal places to live and they have been living for the last thirty years or so. They have been living there without permits. Only they have ration cards for grain purchase and to cast the votes. They have no identity, so food is more important for their survival. Through discussion, the writer comes to know that they consider food as the chief ingredient of their survival. At the end of the day they go to bed without an aching stomach. They pitch their tents wherever they find food. Thus, they become their transit homes. Children grow up in them and become partners in survival and survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. For them garbage is their gold, food and everything for children it is wrapped in wonder but for the elders it is a means of survival.


Mention some of the possible reasons for the migration of people from the villages towards the cities.

There was a time when the villagers were self-sufficient by having their interdependence on one or the other. They had the least desire of fleeing towards the cities.

With the rapid speed of changing time, modernity, commercialisation and so on, the villagers started migrating to cities in search of job, education, knowledge, better civic facilities and the glamorous life. The village-craft has lost its meaning so they have become unemployed. In order to fill up their belly, they have started moving towards the cities.

They flee to these places wherever they can get work. In addition to this, certain natural calamities like drought, flood, earthquake, and cyclone, etc. force them to move to the safer places since the cities are more protected than villages. The rag- pickers of Seemapuri is a current example of this type. In the villages, there are insufficient facilities of education, accommodation, profession and other requisite of life. One can find unhealthy and dingy atmosphere there in the village. To avoid any kind of trouble, people migrate to the cities. Very often the policies of government turn the barren land into fertile one. So the people run there for earning their livings.

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