Lives changed by Sathi, Bangalore

Browse through SATHI’s annual reports over the past decade and you’ll get more than a dose of stories on the lives they have impacted. Luckily, most have a happy ending and SATHI’s follow-up phonecalls and visits to some of the reunited childrens’ homes reaffirms that.

The story of Santosh, Dinesh and Sandip are just a sample of the kind of work SATHI does.

Santosh aged 12 years and Dinesh aged 11 years were found at New Delhi Railway Station. Both were studying in standard V. Dinesh was studying in Madras and lived with his maternal grandmother and belonged to a middle-class family. He had come to Delhi to spend his vacations with his parents. Dinesh was a naughty child and during the first interaction with the worker at the Child Assistance Booth, New Delhi Railway Station, he reported that his parents had sent him to work and hence he was working as a rag picker at the railway station.

At our center, during the couselling session, Santosh and Dinesh reported that they were playing in the park, when a stranger came to them with a promise of showing them around the city. They travelled with him and later, he abandoned them at the New Delhi Railway station. The children expressed their desire to return home and gave their parents’ contact number. According to the parents, the children had left home after lunch and did not return thereafter. The parents too could not believe the children’s story and knew for sure that there was something in their version of what had happened.

Santosh’s father and uncle revealed that he was good in studies but had run away from home 3-4 times.  Santosh had fallen into bad company. He was a pampered child and when his parents discovered the sort of company he kept, they decided to send him back to their village in Chhapra, Bihar to avoid bad company again.

Dinesh’s parents stated that he was good in studies but was extremely naughty because of which he was sent to live with his grandmother in Madras. He was his mother’s blue-eyed boy, pampered and had also picked up bad habits.

The parents were counselled in ways of bringing up children, in order to protect them from getting into anti-social activities. Both Dinesh and Santosh were also warned against roaming around alone as they were vulnerable to exploitation. That they got back home safely was sheer good luck, they could have got into real problems had they not been spotted by SATHI’s staff. Both children were reunited with their parents. As per the telephonic follow-up with their parents, both of them were reported to be staying at home under parental care.

SATHI came across Sandip, a 10-year old boy and took him to the Allahabad shelter. One day, at 4am, he tried to run away from the shelter in the most dramatic and dangerous way. He broke the glass window pane and tried to descend down by a 20 feet long water pipe. However, he couldn’t do so as he felt frightened. Hanging on to the pipe, he started screaming. On hearing his screams, a staff member went to his rescue. Sandip was not able to provide any information about his family and the next day, he was referred to the Government Shishu Griha Allahabad. On a followup done by SATHI, they learnt that the boy had been reunited with his parents and was staying at home.

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