Keneisalie Charles Rutsa from Kohima | Photo courtesy: Morung Express

The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has brought negativity among many. But for 12-year-old Keneisalie Charles Rutsa from Kohima in Nagaland, it is a little different. The Class VII student has learnt a new craft to make baskets which will help him to pay school fees.

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“I want to save the money I earn from these baskets and use it to pay my school fees,” Keneisalie, a student of Kohima’s Christ King Higher Secondary School was quoted as saying by The Morung Express.

During the lockdown when the schools are closed, the boy has learnt the craft from his tutor. And he has been doing it since May.

“I finished making seven baskets so far and managed to sell two of them while I gifted another two to my aunts. Currently I am not doing it because we have online exams but once it is over, I will pick up where I left it,” he added.

From the two baskets sold Keneisalie could earn Rs 600 and Rs 800 respectively.

The second among three siblings, Keneisalie said: “I have an elder brother and a younger sister who is studying in Class V.”

When asked what prompted him to start weaving baskets, he said it was out of his own sheer interest that he picked up the art. The son of a bus driver and a homemaker excitedly adds that “this is my first earning” from the two baskets sold.

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His tutor, Vizokhonuo Rutsa, who learnt the art during a teachers’ training at the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) Chiechama some years ago, has been passing on the knowledge to whoever is willing to learn.

“During the lockdown, since there is nothing much to do, I have been making baskets and Keneisalie would observe us,” she said.

“Keneisalie is very easy to teach. He mostly observed us while we were making baskets and applied his mind. He learnt very fast, actually it took him just a day and he could manage on his own after that,” Rutsa added.

The teacher is also clearly motivated to see that the young boy is planning to use his little earnings to pay his own school fees, which is a rare thing among students his age. “Since he won’t be able to go and buy the materials on his own, I get them for him when I go out and he is just waiting for his online exams to get over so he can indulge in it again,” she reckoned.

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