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Children in India Find New Life Away from Delinquency and Abuse

Update September 2011 - By Beatrice Vanaja, Chief Administrative Officer, New Life

Abused children counselled and return to school

New Life has succeeded this year in preventing two children from juvenile delinquency.

In-our-special-school-for-cIn the special school

These two young people got trained and employed and are now earning $48 (@ Rs.42 per dollar) per month.

300 children with juvenile delinquency have been identified for improving the ability-based social quotient; 12 have attained the ability-based social quotient, and 10 children have reduced anti-social tendencies.

Three cases of child sexual abuse have been addressed, and the children so abused have been guided by a counselor to attain emotional stability. 

Six cases of physical abuse have been addressed and solved.

To save the children from physical and sexual abuse, children are gathered into small groups and were taught about bad touch and whom to approach in cases of abuse.

So far, 240 children have been taught.

During this period, 65 children involved in a child labour in the age group of 7- 14 years (earlier employed in automobile service units, stone quarries,and  mat weaving units) who  were taught in the special schools, have been admitted to regular schools.

On the whole, 887 (cumulative figure from August 1999) have been admitted to the regular schools in their nearby locality. These children have been  trained in academics, and motivated to face the other children who are well-equipped.

Counseling was given to these children to face the world with courage.

A Safe Home provides much-needed love and careNew-Life-Children

The 30 child drop-outs – those who were staying and taught in our residential school, are now integrated in the regular school and are given safe boarding in our home. These children come from varied backgrounds like fortune tellers, child labourers who were extremely poor, agriculturists, and unskilled labour, etc.

Twenty childrenof them, 14 girls age ranging from 3-13, whose parents are involved in activities that conflict with law, are accommodated in our home and are given a safe environment, decent food, clothing and a good education with the utmost needed love and care.

These achievements have a positive impact on the community we serve with, and the people are approaching our organization for any support, be it financial, legal, physical, or emotional.

This helps us reach out to more needy people.

Saved from juvenile delinquencyLavanyaLavanya

Lavanya is a 9 year old child.

Her parents are Chinnadurai and Sundari. They are illiterate. Chinnadurai is working as a painter and he is a drug addict. Sundari is working as a servant maid in a home. They are living in Kajapettai and have three children.

The elder one – Lavanya, stayed with her auntie in Karur district, and last year she studied 4th standard there. Before her final examination, Chinnadurai went there and took her to their home and she was not able to continue her studies. Then she did all the household work in her house without going to school.

Chinnadurai – who consumes drugs, scolded her, using bad words. Lavanya, seeing her father, tried to follow her father and imitated him. Sundari was much worried and approached our team. Our counselor talked to Chinnadurai and made him realize the importance of education.

Now Lavanya is admitted at the nearby school and she is going to school.

No more difficulties after surgeryYuvarajYuvaraj

Yuvaraj is a one and a half year old child. He had problem while urinating, and  had this problem since he was 11 months old.

His parents took him to the hospital and he was diagnosed to have a hernia, and he had to undergo a surgery. Since they are illiterates they were afraid to do surgery and kept Yuvaraj in home without undergoing any treatment.

Our health worker identified their problem and counseled them. Even though they were not ready to take treatment in the beginning –  after continuous counseling, they accepted that their son should undergo surgery.

Now Yuvaraj has had his operation and is living without any difficulties.

His dreams are coming trueManikandanManikandan

Manikandan was a shepherd boy when he was 10 years old.

His family circumstances forced him to earn money and he could not continue his studies after his 5th standard. He longed to study well and become a collector, but it was only a dream for him. Then he met Mr. Srithar, the teacher of special school for child labour who counseled his parents.

Manikandan joined  New Lifes child labour special school. He studied well and was admitted in 7th standard in Government BoysHigher Secondary School, Musiri. He got the  school's first [rank] and District 3rd mark in school final year: 1096 /1200 marks.

His journey of study continued, and now he is doing his post graduate degree in actuarial science at Bishop Heber College, Trichy, with a credential of 85% marks in undergraduation work. His dream of becoming a collector grew big and he wanted to join the IAS coaching class in a reputed center.

New Life helped him to get admitted to an online coaching class, and he now attends the session from the premises of New Life, and with the infrastructure facilities provided there.

We are sure he will reach his goal.

Women gain financially and healthwiseSelf-group-members-trainingSelf Help Grup training

We helped 73 women financially to start income-generating activities – and their average income has increased by $20.5. Eight of them have increased their income by $60.

Five women got employed in a garment factory through New Life’s facilitation and are earning $4.8 per day.

As with child abuse cases, we have also helped women who have been abuse. Fourteen women abuse cases have been addressed and six have been solved.

New Life is happy due to the awareness created among the pregnant women and the ante natal care given through our health workers; all the deliveries in our target areas are safe deliveries. And the mothers are given post natal care after the deliveries.

Prison women taught to make washing powderSHG-meetingSelf Help Group meeting

Santhi Now Has ‘Shanthi’ (peace)

Fifty-six motivated women inmates of the Special Prison for Women, Trichirappalli, were taught to  make washing powder.

They were trained in the different qualities of the washing powder, the raw materials used for the preparation of the powder, the cost of producing it, and the profit margin that can be set.

All the women participated with enthusiasm and were asking a series of questions on the front and back end tie-ups (purchase of raw materials and sale of the washing powder made), pricing, packing, branding, marketing, etc.

Mrs. Santhi, 38, from Trichy, who was arrested for illegal liquor selling, expressed her gratitude to the trainer for showing her a new way.

Santhi’s husband died when she was 37, and she was left in the streets with her two small boys.

She did not know what to do to feed her children.

It was at that time, she met Saroja, a woman, who sold illegal liquor. Saroja introduced Santhi to the liquor manufacturer.

He employed her and gave her sufficient money and with this money Santhi could take care of her two children.

But she was not happy with what she was doing. It was then the police arrested her and she was sentenced.

While attending the training in the prison, Santhi made up her mind to get involved in washing powder manufacturing, and stop selling liquor. She expressed her gratitude to New Life and its trainer. She says she will shift to a new place after her release and start making the washing powder and sell it.

She is confident that she can sell the powder she makes. New Life is happy that Santhi now has ‘Shanthi’ (Peace).

Will she be saved?

Ramjan, 13, born to a mother engaged in prostitution, and a father who fetches business for his wife, is cursed to take care of herself. 

Born with a twin brother (working in a fish shop), she has had to earn for her living by packing grocery items in a nearby factory. She was earning Rs.30/- per day.

She was not happy, being deprived of the care and affection she should get as a child.

It was then she was seen by the special school teacher from New Life. The teacher told the counselor about her, and the counselor met her parents.

It took a lot of  time to counsel them. and even the child, to make her come to the special school. The child lacked motivation, interest and had feared to come to school. She was repeatedly counseled, and after five months of efforts, she joined the school.

In the beginning, she was irregular in attending school. But now, she never misses a class.

The New Life team is happy that her right to education has been protected. And we are taking efforts to see that she gets a good education and thus, a legal employment, since there is a high chance that she may be forced into her mother’s profession.  

Lure for five Rupees could have spoiled his life

Selvakumar is from a poor family.

His father and mother are unskilled labourers and they earn Rs.75/- per day on an average. Selvakumar was studying 4th standard and he loves to eat snacks. Whenever he asks for money from his mother, she will scold him – but occasionally gives money to him.

Selvakumar was sharing about his inability to buy snacks with his friend Sivakumar, who used to steal money and small valued items whenever he required money. He told Selvakumar about this and convinced him that stealing is not wrong.

Selvakumar was not sure about this, but on seeing Sivakumar spending money freely, he was lured.

One day, Selvakumar badly wanted to buy a small cake which costs Rs.5/-.

He asked his mother and she beat him.

He went to Sivakumar and shared with him what happened, and that he wanted to eat that cake. Sivakumar told him that they could go to the nearby post office and steal money from there. Selvakumar, because of this temptation, agreed to this.

They both went to the post office in the night, and Selvakumar watched that nobody came while Sivakumar was stealing.

Siva, after coming out, gave Selvakumar Rs.5/- ,and he went away. Selvakumar happily bought the cake and ate it. They were caught by the local people the next day and were beaten. The money was returned by Sivakumar but they both were stamped as thieves.

Both of them were stopped from school and were wandering in the streets.

On coming to know about this our counselor met both their parents and counseled them to send the boys to New Life’s residential home and continue their studies.

Sivakumar refused to continue his studies. But Selvakumar, who realized his mistake, accepted going to school. Now he is in 5th standard and is studying satisfactorily.

Jansi Rani wants justice

Jansi Rani is from Kodappu village.

Her story in her own words:

“I got married to Arun Prasad three years ago with lot of dreams. I was happy that my husband is handsome and fair.

But now I know mere colour and beauty is not enough for happiness.

We were happy for only two months. After that, my problem started. When he goes out on duty (he is a driver), my father-in-law and brother-in-law misbehaved towards me.

When I complained about this to my husband and mother-in-law, they took it very lightly and told me that I should adjust, and such things are common in a family. I was shocked.

One day, when nobody was there, my father-in-law tried to rape me. I shouted, and my neighbors came rushing and saved me. When my mother-in-law and husband returned, they scolded me. My husband beat me. I was pregnant then.

And my son was born dead, as I underwent physical and mental harassments during this period.

Now I have a daughter who is one and a half years old. My in-laws took my   ten  sovereign jewels and told my husband that I gave the jewels to my mother. He beat me for this, too. He and his whole family used to beat me and wanted to get more dowry (the money or things bride’s family give to the groom, on demand when they get married) from my parents.

Then my husband asked for 2 lakhs rupees and more jewels from my parents to buy a lorry.

I refused to ask.

He beat me violently and I got injured on my hand and ear. I was admitted in the  government hospital for ten  days. I went to my mother’s home and stayed there.

After a few months I received a divorce notice from him. And I heard that he married another lady on 8 June 2011. I complained to the Women's Police Station and the Social Welfare Office. No effective action has been taken so far.

I want justice.”

Now the New Life team is guiding her.

We have approached the National Commission for Women. Complaint was given to the commissioner, who has ordered a fair inquiry. And Jaansi Rani’s case was inquired by the police who were earlier reluctant to inquire about her husband and his family.

We hope she will get justice soon.

Gobi: stopped from stealing

Gobi is poor student and he is 15 years old from Vamadam – and is not interested in studies.

His parents are illiterate. They are working as a construction workers and go to work in early morning and return at night. They couldn't take care of Gobi and so he stopped going to school.

Our New Life team identified that Gobi is not going to school, and due to the influence of his friends, he was engaged in minor thefts.

He was continuously counseled by our staff.

Finally he understood the need for change in his behaviour and the drastic effect it will have on his future; he agreed to continue his studies. Now he is admitted in a nearby school in 9th standard and going to school continuously.

He is also given additional coaching in the coaching class conducted by us and a plan is developed to improve his academic performance and his behavior.

Facing life with courage

In Vamadam, a 14 year old girl was raped by her boyfriend and his friends.

Our counselor met the family and took efforts to fight the case against the three youth. The counselor counseled the girl and succeeded in helping the child overcome the stress she is facing due to the rape.

She has been taught to face the life with courage and confidence.

Kanaga’s legal rights are protected

Kanaga (name changed) is an 8 year-old girl child studying in 3rd standard.

She was born into a Dalit family residing in Sathyamoorthy Nagar. Her father is a rickshaw puller (hand cart) and her mother is a maid.

On 20 October .2010, Kanaga saw a vendor selling hand stickers when she came out with her friends from school during the lunch hour. The stickers were so attractive that the children eagerly ran to the vendor to buy a few stickers. The vendor told the children that he has many more beautiful stickers in his home.

He took Kanaga and her two friends to his house. 

When they reached his home, he sent away Kanaga’s friends, telling them that the stickers they asked for were not available, and to come on the next day.

When Kanaga stayed back, he touched her sex organs with an obscene intention. He covered her mouth to keep her quiet and kept his sex organ in her sex part.

The girl found this to be painful and escaped from him and ran away. In the evening, when she returned from school, she had excruciating pain when she wanted to urinate. She was crying.

When her father inquired what happened, she told him everything. On hearing this, the neighbors and the girl's father rushed to the vendor's home, beat him up, and took the culprit to the police.

The police in Trichirappalli Fort station had reportedly beaten the girl's father (after a verbal clash between them) and filed a case against both (the culprit and girl's father). The doctors were afraid to give treatment to the girl, as it was a police case, and did not admit her to the hospital.

Seeing this, the people of Sathyamoorthy Nagar protested en mass. The girl was then admitted in the district headquarters hospital, Trichirappalli, and got treated for the nail injuries bruised by the culprit on the girl’s sex organs.

Our NGO staff members stayed with the child in rosters and provided the much required moral support. We  provided the necessities, and are planning to admit her in a hostel away from her home as she recuperates her bad memories. We are providing legal guidance to the family.

The child was asked to give witness in the open court, and we represented this to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

We have succeeded in this, and the Commission has ordered the Court to conduct the cross examination of the sexually abused girl on camera.

Looking for his missing sister

New Life was contacted this summer by a Bhawanath Timilsina of Nepal, asking for help in repatriating and rescuing his sister,  Sabitri  Gautam back to Nepal.

She is believed to have been trafficked.

Investigations are still ongoing.

Government change brings education to a standstill

In the month of April 2011, we had the Tamil Nadu Province (State) Elections and there was a change in the party ruling the government .

The change of government has affected the education of the school-going children in the following way:  the entire education system came to a standstill due to the stand of the new government not to adopt theuniform syllabus” –  called samacheer kalvi, proposed by the party ruling previously.

A case was filed in the Supreme Court which quashed their appeal, and gave the verdict in August. The Court ordered to implement the uniform syllabus.

But this ego politics had resulted in  time lost – nearly 40 working days this academic year wasted, with no educational inputs to the children.  Teachers, along with parents, fear how the school administration is  going to cope with the change and the time lost!  

This has direct impact on our NGOs coaching classes/programme for the children (nearly 10,680 children are benefitted through this programme), as our teachers are working overtime to impart the education to the children.

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