Bengaluru: Master Baba, a 19-year-old from Pavagada taluk, was one among 15 runaway children who were reunited with their families.
At a function organised by the Society for Assistance to Children in Difficult Situation (SATHI) along with Vikasana, a social service initiative undertaken by the students of IIMB, each one had a heart rending story to narrate.
Baba recalls he left home as a small kid because “I didn’t like schooling and due to the poverty at home. Railway platforms were my shelter for years. I lost my leg while I was staying at Anantpur railway station. After that I got addicted to smoking and chewing gutka. My life was miserable.”
Baba said now he is happy with his family members at his native place. “I am now 19 years old and self employed. I was treated at de-addiction centre run by SATHI,” he said.
Another boy Master Muhammad Abid (13) from Patna got into a Bengaluru bound train as he was not liking his Madrasa school.
“I didn’t like schooling. My parents wanted me to study well. So I ran away from Patna to Bengaluru. Now I am going back to my parents. In the orientation programme, I realised the importance of education and will definitely study well in future,” he said.
Master Rakshith (name changed) from Anantpur, who discontinued studies after VII standard, had a different story to tell. He wanted his mother, who was HIV infected, to get good treatment.
He came to Bengaluru to work with his brother. One day he left Bengaluru and started staying in railway platforms.
“I am an orphan now. But will live with my brother and continue my studies,” he said. Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde who launched the book ‘Rescuing Children from Railway Platforms’ by Lalitha Iyer and Professor Malcom Harper, observed that society should be more sensitive towards the problems of children.