I am very excited to write this post as I am able to relocate a mentally retarded kid who is unfortunately been separated from his parents before 8 months.
A 12 Year old kid Mohammad Hakeem, son of Mohammad basha (sells old properties) is been separated from warangal during the occasion of his sisters marriage. This kid has some how reached Chennai Central railway station, where the police squad for child care has taken him in to custody.
What should this squad do?
This squad, sitting at Central Railway Station (Chennai), is suppose to search for separated/ran away kids from different places and take them in to custody. These may also have to speak to the kid and fid out where he is from and why he has ran away/been separated. If he is not able to find out any thing from the kid’s answers, they have to send this kid to GBH (Government Boys Home).
What is GBH and what should it do:
GBH is a Government Home for the children who are separated and ran away from their homes. There are two sections in GBH. Section I of GBH should take care of children who are recently been separated from their parents at different places, by providing them temporary shelter, clothing and food. When a kid is in Section I, its means that government is still trying to relocate this particular kid by different means.
Section II of GBH should take care of the kids’ shelter, food, clothing and education. If a kid is at Section II (They call it HOME), it means that Govt is not able to relocate this kid and so is taking care of him.
The actual situation:
Government has recruited two police men to interrogate with these kids. But, as these people don’t know many other languages, they may not be able to speak to them in their respective language. And so, most of the time they end up in failing to relocate them and so they will be sending the kid to GBH.
Facilities At GBH:
GBH has two halls for the kids below 10 years and the kids above 10 years. They have one TV in each room (Plays only Tamil channels). They have one care taker for both the halls. They provide dress to the children. They will provide breakfast early in the morning (8 o’clock). Lunch in the after noon and dinner tonight. Obviously, the food will be in Tamil style. The two halls are always locked and the drinking water will be inside each room.
What is TCS doing here?
Nothing much. Interested associates from different branches visit GBH on regular basis, speak to the kid’s, ask some question to them, try to find out the address from them. People may also bring some eatables to distribute among the kids. These people some times conduct games among the kids and try to entertain them. TCS also is conducting some classes to these kids by hiring a teacher. Some of the interested associates, teaches them dance and music.
How do i know about this?
I shall be pretty frank in this section. I had a friend in my project called Mukund who always used to tell me about GBH and maitree. But he never forced me to come there. Even though I have interest in doing such things, I am so lazy to spend my time on weekends. Also, I initially had a perception that GBH is very far from the place I am staying (Kodambakkam). So, I didn’t show much of interest in going there on regular basis.
But, one day mukund called me and told me about this telugu kid Hakeem. I started my best to find a contact in warangal. But, the issue here is, even if I get a contact from warangal, I should be in a position to guide them to that guy’s place. For that I have to meet Hakeem. One Sunday, when mukund called me I was watching a movie in Satyam. So, he couldn’t say anything, coz I am already committed. Next week, on Sunday when mukund called me at 9.10 in the morning, I was in bed. He was screaming at me to get up and come to GBH. As usual, I was so lazy to go there. So, rejected. Mukund has become very angry me and insisted me to come there. I felt very frustrated and annoyed with this discussion. I initially thought not to go there. But then I didn’t want to spoil relation with mukund and so I went there.
My First impression on GBH?
When i go there on mukund’s bike, i was surprised to see the some 80 kids locked in a hall with a TV an attached bathroom in it. The surroundings are very unclean and of bad odder. The clothes of the kids are very unclean, and you can not even go near the kid and smell.
The moment we went there, some of the kids have come to the nearest window and were pleasing for food (which is there in our hands). Some are pleasing to get them out. Some were enquiring if any one of us know their mother tongue. And some of them are busy in sleeping and watching TV. With this first look I was very much moved and was almost about to broke in to tears. But then, I controlled it somehow and then went in
to speak to Hakeem.
Whats up with Hakeem:
Hakeem to look at is a poor boy 10-12 years of age. He just woke up from the sleep and came out. He seems very innocent and was not able to answer many of my questions. In some case, I was not able to understand what he was talking about. I have noted down all the details that I understood and came out distributing the food to those kids.
How did i find his parents?
Witnessing the situation at GBH, my first step had to search for a contact in warangal. I had a word with my room met Sarath who gave me a contact number of Madhu (working in TCS Hyderabad) who is from warangal. Madhu some how found a contact (Hakeem’s community head) from the same locality and finally the information has reached their parents.
Their parents reaction?
The parents were very happy (obviously) and they don’t have any words to thank us. They were almost spellbound and broke in to tears while speak to me and mukund. We told them how to approach here and take him back home. Their parents are staring this evening to Chennai.
The same explained above may not be case for all the kids. I have witnessed some kids who have intentionally ran out of this homes in search of work and money. They could do that as they are too small to take a decision. Some of them felt very bad after coming to GBH.
In some other case, ason kid’s mother intentionally left the kid somewhere and married another per. We found this when tried to relocate a kid. Such mothers may not be interested to take the kid back from the GBH.
In other case, some person will get these kids to the cities to provide them work (I call it child labor) and left them somewhere.
What ever may be the reason, kid is a kid. Whatever they do is not something very planned and some thing very cunning. TCS is really doing well by trying to relocate them. So, i decided to be a part of such good organization. We are not doing much here by leaving our job or by taking leave to office or by dedicating ourselves to this. We are just doing whatever we can. So, there is nothing wrong in this.
Persons i should thank in this operation:
I owe all the below people a BIG THANKS. These people have helped me directly and indirectly in relocating this innocent kid. Here is the list of people.
- Mukund (For getting me in to this GBH operation).
- Madhu (TCS HYD, helped me in finding out a person from the kid’s community.
- Vamsiraj (Madhu’s friend who has helped to find an electricity department person who finally reached their parents).
- A person from electricity department (dont remember his name), (who has spent almost half a day to search this kid’s parent’s and was finally able to find them).
- Last but not least, The Almighty (Who had made this all happen smoothly).
Even though I felt discouraged while trying to relocate this kid, I was very happy to see their parent’s reaction and their happiness. I could say, the moment I spoke to his parents is one of the happiest moments in my life.
And if any one of you is interested and kind enough to share 1-2 hours of your time with these innocent/pure minded kids. Feel free to contact me at +91-9884022991.
And as always, your comments are always welcome.