Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Journey inside the young minds!!!

Admission No. 145 ((A boy)
Date of Admission : 16-08-2012

On 16th August 2012, 3 persons belonging to 3 different generations visited Kaliyuva Mane - a 9 or 10 year old young boy, his mother and an old man from Kenchalagudu village.   The mother and son were from a far off village.  The father was an alcoholic addict.   According to the mother of the boy, her husband had extra-marital affairs and used to visit home occasionally.   Both the parents were illiterates.   The mother could not check her tears while revealing this.   The mother used to work as a coolie.  
The son used to go to a Kannada medium rural mainstream free school.   But due to some reasons, he stopped going to the school.  At that time he was studying in 5th standard. (Later, the mother submitted the boy’s 4th standard progress report)  But unfortunately the boy fell into bad company and started stealing.  He used to get caught in the act sometimes and punished by the owners.  The boy’s mother became restless.  Her anxiety about the future of her only son also started growing.  Out of anger and desperation, the mother started beating her son. 
We could notice 6 or 8 burnt marks on the boy’s body.  These were clearly the marks of the frustration of his mother. An old man from Kenchalagudu brought the boy’s mother to Kaliyuva Mane.  The boy’s mother wanted admission for him as a resident scholar.   It was difficult for us to accommodate him as a resident scholar.   We admitted him as a day scholar. 
This way the boy joined Kaliyuva Mane.   But the same afternoon he was on the verge of leaving the school.  The reason: one of our new teachers had scolded him for his bad behaviour.   During lunch time, we found the boy missing.  Getting some clue from one of the children, Mahadeva Swamy, one of our staff members took scooter and brought him back to Kaliyuva Mane.  In the evening, we all the discussed about the boy’s future.   There were two options for us, either to send him out of Kaliyuva Mane which would make him an antisocial element or to try to mend the boy to the best of our ability.  So we spoke to the boy, gave him the freedom to attend the classes whenever he liked.   He used to play the slide and swing.   One day he came to the computer lab.  He started coming to computer classes alone.  One of our school teachers, Kavita offered him a new set of clothes, a pair of slippers. Kavita has excellent soft skills.  On that night his mother called us and enquired whether her son had stolen any material from the school!   He started attending that particular teacher’s classes.  Gradually he started attending all the classes.  We were happy seeing the transformation in the boy!
After 3 months, he instigated one resident scholar to steal some money from one of the German volunteers.   The boy shared the booty with other friends.  This was really shocking and shameful for us.  What our foreign guest think about Indians?  But we did not know how to handle the situation.  After this incident, the boy did not come to Kaliyuva Mane for a week.   After a week, his mother brought him to the school.  For one week, we made him sit alone in Kaliyuva Mane’s office for contemplation.  On hourly basis, one of the teachers used to sit with him and counsel.  
Now, after 7 months, he is attending all the classes regularly and learning well.  He does not use vulgar words.  He is less quarrelsome.  But the million dollar question is, “Is this transformation permanent?”    His mother is happy.   We really don’t know how to handle the situation, if he starts stealing again.  Pray and hope, he will not!