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Why were many families unable to send their children to school though it was free?

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Though there were many schools in the village which provided free education to the children of the village, many families were unable to send their children to school because they were so poor that they could not afford to pay for books, uniforms, etc. Moreover, they sent their children to work. Their children did many small jobs and earned money to add to the family income. Whereas the boys worked as mechanics, day labourers, grass cutters and livestock herders, the girls worked as maidservants in many houses where they did the cooking, cleaning dishes and washing clothes for their employers.

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