Lives You helped Change
Jhuma is a 12 year old girl who has lost both her parents to tuberculosis. Her family was very poor and her father regularly beat Jhuma and her five sisters. The girls do not have any close relatives. One neighbour sent Jhuma to her son-in-law’s house to work as a maidservant. Rupa (Jhuma’s sister who is attending Hope Kolkata Foundation) reported that Jhuma was being physically and emotionally abused and that they had forced her to stop going to school.
When we first spoke to her, Jhuma she said she was happy and was going to school. But some weeks later she suddenly ran away. Luckily, a security guard of Shree Krishna Nursing Home informed The Hope Foundation and the housemother went and brought her to the HOPE Home.
Jhuma smiles and is very helpful and mixes with the other children in the home. She is less talkative but communicative. She seems to be intelligent.
Tampai is nine years old. She could not remember her parent’s names when she came to The Hope Foundation. Gradually she started to talk. According to Tampai, her mother committed suicide by taking poison. The relationship between her parents was not good and her father beat her mother a lot. She also said that her father put fire to their home and ran away. After that he remarried and Tampai’s step mother tortured her also. She also has an elder brother, two elder sisters, and one younger brother, who she said had died in a road accident and was buried beside her mother.
Tampai ran away from home and arrived at Howrah Station. A man came and promised she would live like a fairy and get good food and dresses if she went with him. She was placed at a rich man’s house to work as a residential maidservant. In beginning they took care of Tampai. She got good food and clothes. But soon they were treating her very badly: they tortured her to complete her work. One day she was very sick and they did not take care of her or give her food so she ran away and went back to Howrah Station. She met a lady who started taking care of her but forced her to beg. She was sexually abused a number of times in the station.
Hope Kolkata Foundation’s child watch team saw Tampai outside Howrah Station in the middle of night and a group of boys were abusing her. She hardly had any clothes and not eaten any food that day.
Tampai needs security, shelter, food, and care. She is an innocent girl and always has a smiling face. She loves to play and can mix well with the other girls in the home.
Ash is an eleven year old girl. Her father abandoned the family when Ash was a baby. Her mother took her to work by day…
and at night they slept at Sealdha station. When she was 10 years old, Ash’s mother remarried and sent her daughter to a boarding school but she left after seven months.
Ash came back to the station to her mother and stepfather. They then rented a room where they went at night but sometimes Ash’s mother left her in street at night and they went home. Ash stayed on the pavement at night alone. Nobody tried to get her into school. Ash spent whole days roaming the streets and did not eat proper food. She was in a high-risk situation. Ash now lives in a Hope home for girls. She is always smiling and loves to play with other children. With proper support, she can do well in her studies. In the Hope Home, she feels secure and is very happy to be starting her studies again.
A Family’s Story
Ruksana and her two children, 7-year old Guriya and 4-year old Rukmaan, were rescued from Sealdah railway platform in 2007.
Ruksana was very distressed and not able to speak. She was traumatized and shocked. Guriya was taking care of her mother and brother. They had not eaten for a long time, their clothes were shabby and they were scared of everything around them.
They were brought to Hope Kolkata Girls’ Home at Panditya Place by our 24hour mobile child protection ambulance. After a few days, Ruksana was admitted to hospital for psychiatric care and the children were cared for by Hope Kolkata.
When Ruksana came out of hospital she joined her children and we began to find out what had happened to this family. They had lived in a small village at the India/Nepal border. The father had abandoned them and married another woman. He had beaten Ruksana so she and her children ran away.
They had first gone to Delhi and lived on the railway platform where they were abused. Ruksana started working as a labourer but was badly treated. They eventually came to Kolkata. When Ruksana began to speak to us, she became desperate to go back home.
We took the family on a difficult two-day journey back to their village. We saw that they did not have a place to live and that Ruksana was still not in a condition to take care of the children. All of us were upset and found it very difficult to leave them, especially the children, who were sweet and intelligent. We thought of taking them back, but Nepal border security force did not allow us to take them back as per their government policy.
Thankfully we found a well-wisher who promised us to keep us updated about the family. They got in touch with us and Ruksana and her children are now back in our care. The children are getting ready for formal school placement and we are arranging vocational training and a job placement for Ruksana. The family is happy now.
Amit is a pre-schooler who attends a HOPE Crèche. He came to the crèche as a two year-old while his mother Chaya went to work as a maid servant. Amit and his five year old sister were living in very poor circumstances. His father was working but suffers from alcoholism and did not contribute to the family.
However, Amit became very sick with a severe urinal infection. He was first admitted to the HOPE Hospital but had to be transferred to Sishu Mangal Hospital where he spent one month. HOPE paid for his treatment. Chaya, Amit’s mother, stayed in the hospital with him. By the time the little boy had recovered, all her jobs were gone. The family had nothing left, not even to buy food.
With the help of The Hope Kolkata Foundation, Chaya started working as a cleaner and was earning Rs.600 a month. Amit had complete rest in our Crèche. Now Amit’s older sister is now also attending one of our education centres. She and Amit have learnt to say poems, to count and are enjoying lots of activities with other children each day.
HOPE believes in holistic support for families.
Subhoda has attended a Coaching Centre of Hope Kolkata’s Education Project for the past five years. Today she is a bright and intelligent girl who studies hard and wants to go places!
Her life was not always like this. As a young little girl, she witnessed her alcoholic father abusing her mother every day. He was against Subhoda’s education. However, her mother was very supportive and sent Subhoda’s to live at her own mother’s place.
There she has to do a lot of domestic work but with the support of Hope Kolkata Foundation, she was enrolled in the education coaching centre and has been supported with teaching and therapies for a number of years.
Subhoda has turned into a remarkable student in her school. She recites beautifully. She loves art and gets first in class, despite the past difficulties in her life.Subhoda is heading towards her hope of a better future.