When Kiran was a baby, she was so sick her mother thought she was going to die.

Mumta spent a fortune on medicine to save her daughter's life, and today Kiran is a beautiful, healthy 14-year-old girl.

And Kiran, in a lovely piece of symmetry, dreams of being a doctor herself so she can save other babies, just like her.

It seems an unlikely dream when you visit Mumta and Kiran in their home.

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They live in a poor community in Agra and home for the family is a one-room shack, albeit a brightly painted and spotlessly clean shack.

14-year-old Kiran's mother, Mumta (right) has faith her daughter can get out of the village and into university. Photo / Mike Scott
14-year-old Kiran's mother, Mumta (right) has faith her daughter can get out of the village and into university. Photo / Mike Scott

Until a year ago Kiran was one of India's 10.3 million children aged between 5 and 14 working as a child labourer.

Those numbers come from the 2011 Census and it's estimated the actual number of children working arduous and sometimes dangerous jobs is much higher.

Kiran had been working helping her mother make shoes.

Agra is well-known for its shoe industry and children walk past piles of leather and other material left-over from the manufacturing. Photo / Mike Scott
Agra is well-known for its shoe industry and children walk past piles of leather and other material left-over from the manufacturing. Photo / Mike Scott

Every rupee counts in this family and the money Kiran could bring into the household was considered much more important than allowing her the luxury of attending school.

But since a World Vision co-ordinator spoke to the villagers, attitudes towards children's schooling has changed.

''It was since World Vision came,'' says Mumta.

"They said send your children to school so they can stand on their own two feet, make money, get a job and live securely. I have little but I really want to educate my children.''

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Before the conversation with World Vision, Mumta liked the idea of educating her daughter but it all seemed too hard.

Money was extremely tight and there was enormous pressure on her to work to feed the family.

''Because of what I was told,'' Mumta says, ''I realised no matter how bad my situation is, education is more important.''

Agra is known for its shoe industry. This women stitches shoes together. Photo / Mike Scott
Agra is known for its shoe industry. This women stitches shoes together. Photo / Mike Scott

There's enormous pressure on Kiran to succeed at school and fulfil her mother's belief in her – and to justify the sacrifice her family have made to see her educated.

But she's doing well at school - and if she keeps doing well there's every chance her dream will become a reality.

There are government grants for poor families and those children who achieve more than 80 per cent in their overall grades can get a scholarship to higher education.

Mumta has faith her daughter can get out of the village and into university.

''I want her to fulfil her dreams. I don't want her to end up like me.''

To donate to the Not for Sale campaign go to World Vision