I am D. Sonu, originally from Delhi, but migrated to Borabanda, Hyderabad. I was in Don Bosco Navajeevan for 10 years. I would like to tell you something about myself.
Now I am 25 years old. My father name is Vijay Singh, a Security Officer and my mother is Gita, House wife. I am the eldest among the two sons in our family. When I was very young my parents were caught of stealing in which I was also involved. And we had a very tough time to defend ourselves.
After 5 months, my parents were divorced. I was living with my mother for a couple of months. Eventually, she abandoned me and I was left on the streets to fend for myself. I started working at mechanical shops, hotels, etc. for living. Once I was unfairly blamed for a theft. It was a humiliating experience and I left the job and became a vagabond until I met the staff of Don Bosco Navajeevan. Initially, it was very difficult to adjust to life at Navajeevan. I with stood the temptation to go back to the life on the streets. After three months of my stay at shelter, I was sent to school. Regarding my studies, I completed my 10th class. I am very much attracted to dance, and eventually, I want to become a professional dancer. Our director, Rev. Fr. Balashowry, shows lots of love and affection on all the children. In him, I find the lot of love and affection. All the staff is very helpful and encouraging. I am greatly indebted to them all and I would always remember them with gratitude and would always be associated with Don Bosco Navajeevan throughout my life.
I loved a girl namely Sirisha and in the year 2008 I married her with the help of then DBNJ Director Fr. Balashowry and the staff. Now I have two girl children elder is year 5 years old, younger girl is 2 years and a baby boy of 3 months.
With the help of Don Bosco Navajeevan I got a job in Little Flower Junior College as a Dance Master. I am also taking evening classes to outsiders, per month I am earning around Rs. 20,000. I am ever grateful to DBNJ for bringing out my talent and for encouraging me to come up in my life with my talent. I often visit to DBNJ with my family, spend some time with children encourage them to settle in their lives.
Kishore is a soft spoken young man who ran away from home in 1999 when he was 9 years old and stayed in streets, hostels and at last reached Don Bosco Navajeevan in 2003 a centre for Children from the Street at Hyderabad. He started as a printer cum binder; later he worked in the kitchen and the bakery. After he was confident in his work, decided to seek a job outside to eke out his livelihood and settle down in life. It was then that Fr. P.G. Francis, the Principal of the Technical School invited him to run the bakery. Kishore had worked earlier under a master baker and knew how to bake bread, biscuits and cakes, even try his hand at making puffs and samosas. But now he was being asked to be in- charge. He was just eighteen and to his own surprise he agreed to give try. From then on turning back in his career as a baker.
For over a period of 18 months, Kishore managed the bakery efficiently. He was conscientious and reliable. He became very confident as a baker. He even decided to get a passport so that later on he could try his fortunes abroad. As he started making preparations to apply for the passport, the reality dawned on him with a bang. He had no proper certificates. He did not know the names of his father or mother. He had no surname. He ran from pillar to post to find a solution. It was around this time, on 7th February that he saw the movie, “Antwone Fisher”, the story of a young orphan boy in constant conflict, who decided to find his roots and succeeded. And his life was changed.
Kishore was moved by the story. He too wanted to trace his roots. It was at this time that he met Mr. Paladugu Srinivas of the Dalit Bahujan Shramik Union who promised to accompany him to find his people. Unfortunately Srinivas was caught up with other works and had decided to join politics and seek his future to help him to find his people. This conversation affected Srinivas. He decided to join in the work for the social rehabilitation the children from the streets. He decided to start with Kishore.
On the night of 23rd February Kishore left for his native village with Mr. Srinivas accompanying him. They took a bus to Giddalur, a little town ensconced in the Nallamala forests of Andhra Pradesh. They were in the town early in the morning. Seeking guidance from the local people they went Paluguntapalli. No sooner than they started asking questions, the people recognized Kishore. Their joy knew no bounds. They had declared him dead and now he had come back to them alive. He was lost and he had returned as a hero.
Word spread very fast. The entire village gathered to meet Kishore. People thronged round Kishore’s house. Soon people started coming from the villages around. Kishore too could not contain his joy. He had thought he had no body, or that he would not be able to find any of them. He had been getting desperate. Now suddenly he found that he had a very large family that cared for him. By evening the press had turn up and later on the following day reports appeared in as many as five local news papers.
A boy, who ran away from home at the age of 6, was handed over to the boy’s family members after ten years by Don Bosco Navajeevan, Secunderabad. Mr. Das and Anjamma have a called Naveen and a daughter lives in Janampet, Addakula in Mahaboobnagar district. Naveen’s mother died at his early age. Then his father got married another woman. As he was not taken care well at home, he ran away from home at the age of 6 and reached Hyderabad. While he was roaming on street, the police of Narayanaguda caught him and joined in an NGO in Narayanaguda.
After few months, he came out of the NGO as the Head of the institution died. In 2002, the staff of Don Bosco Navajeevan rescued him and provided shelter in Don Bosco Navajeevan since then. This year he has written his 10th class board exams. The Home integration team of Don Bosco Navajeevan has searched for his whereabouts and informed his details in Addakula police station recently. Based on the information, the family members of Naveen came to Don Bosco Navajeevan and found that Naveen is their family member. As Naveen’s father is working in another state his uncle (His father’s brother) came to Navajeevan and taken Naveen to his home on 23rd April, 2012.
For the first time in the history of Don Bosco Navajeevan, Hyderabad, two of our boys, Shiva and Pavan, got selected for the coveted Andhra Pradesh Residential School (APRS) programme. The entrance test conducted on April 27, 2014 was taken by five boys from Navajeevan, besides the thousands from the state. Securing this coveted admission, purely on the basis of their hard work, in spite of not having the best of education so far and the least of comforts, is what we congratulate them for.
For the first time in the history of Don Bosco Navajeevan, a home for street involved children and young at Risk of Hyderabad, five of our children appeared for the selection exam conducted on 27th April 2014 of Andhra Pradesh Residential Schools admission Test. These schools are run by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the children who are economically poor but good in studies and selection is purely on the basis of merit.
In our first attempt itself two of our boys Master Shiva and Master Pavan residing in Don Bosco Rehabilitation Centre, Ramanthapur secured this coveted admission. Studying at the Zilla Parishat Elementary School, Ramanthapur and being qualified for the admission into A P Residential Schools under APREI Society, Hyderabad is the a great achievement. Master Shiva is given admission in APRS Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad district and Master Pavan is given admission in APRS Keesaragutta, Ranga Reddy District.
By getting admission in AP Residential Schools, these boys are eligible for the following benefits: Free residential education from 5th to Intermediate, good training in spoken English, Sports and games training, integral formation, Yoga and meditation, dance and music, They are also prepared for the AP Competitive examination and are given EAMCET coaching, free medical aid, and other basic needs like clothes, shoes, tie, school bag, notebooks and text books.
We thank Fr. Ignatius Peyyala SDB, the Dean of Studies for taking the good initiative to encourage children to write these competitive exams and get selected for free education sponsored by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Shiva and Pavan are now inspirational models for children in our centres to aim and strive for excellence
Bala Krishna is one of the older boys in Don Bosco Navajeevan. Balakrishna is from Madurai in Tamilnadu. His father died when he was 10 years old. He has one elder sister and an elder brother. The age difference between the elder ones and Balakrishna is around 12 years. They have papad business in Madurai. His mother and his brother are looking after the business.
The situation at home was strict and not so pleasant. At the age of 12 Balakrishna ran away from his elder brother who is 12 years older to him. The reasons were for being irregular to school and getting beatings from his elder brother and lack of support from his family members.
He got into the train and landed up in Secunderabad railway station. He roamed around looking for something to eat. He does not know much Telugu. He was too small to do anything. He roamed here and there for his basic needs. He had nothing in the pocket. In five days he had one good meal, offered by a generous person who saw his pathetic condition. On the fifth day our Navajeen staff met him and invited him for food and shelter. He was asked by the staff that he could stay in the shelter and learn some handy works and sharpening Telugu language.
He is 20 years old today. As a boy he had learned lot from the Fathers and the Staff of Don Bosco Navajeevan. Balakrishna admired the patience of Fr. P.G. Francis, the Principal of the Technical School in Ramanthapur. “Who would allow him to keep shifting his training from trade to trade?” he says that he had trained his hands at Carpentry and Welding, but was not happy with either. He then allowed me to stay in Navajeevan and go out to learn motor-mechanics. In this way Balakrishna learned motor mechanics and he is now well settled in motor mechanic job.
He shares that ‘Now I am happy, I completed that course, I work as an apprentice in a showroom of Hero Honda. Now I am earning Rs. 3,000/- per month. I will soon be a regular employee and earn more. What more could I ask for”.
I am Gajulavarthi Vishnu. I am from Gajwel which is in Medak District. My father’s name is Ramulu and my mother is Nagamani. We are three sons to our parents.
My elder brother’s is Ravi my younger brother is Raju who is physically challenged. My family is a Very poor family struggled to get basic needs. My elder brother is the blood winner of the family as my father has no work. He used to just roam here and there. My mother is a house wife. My elder brother got married and got a son to Laxmi my sister in law.
My family background is very pathetic. When my younger brother was born my parents were separated. The reasons were uncertain for me since I was small. My mother took us to Guntur. There she got married second time to my stepfather who is not so pleasant with me. He used to send me to work, used to beat me for any simple reasons. I was stopped going to the school. It was really tough for me to stay at home. So I decided to run away from home at the age of six. I got in to the train in Guntur and got down in Secunderabad station and not knowing what to do, one side frustration and the other side empty stomach. Then I saw Ganapathi temple in Secunderabad. There they were giving food. I also joined them for food. I filled my stomach. They provided me food for my survival for one day. Then one of the staff members from Don Bosco Navajeevan Mr. Kumar brought me to the hostel.
In Navajeevan I stayed for one month in shelter and then I was sent to school to study 4th class but I did not like to stay in hostel so I ran away from here to other hostel at west Marredpalli named “home three” where anybody can stay and work and then come back for stay. Here I stayed for two days and worked as paper selling boy at road signals. But I thought that Navajeevan is the real home for me, so again I came back by myself. It was in the year 2000 the fathers and staff in Navajeevan welcomed me with kind heart. Always I found love and concern for me. They loved me more than my family members. I thought it is my privilege to be here. I finished my tenth class though I am poor in my studies. From 2000 till now Don Bosco Navajeevan is my home.
Now I am planning to do my open degree. Here in Don Bosco Navajeevan I am really encouraged to develop my talents. Since I am good at dance I have improved in this skill. Now I became a professional choreographer. Now I go to teach in other schools and home tuitions. Now I am a staff in Don Bosco Navajeevan as choreographer. This also helps me to encourage my little friends in Navajeevan to realize their dreams. My main aim is to become a good choreographer.
Vaaka Gopi Krishna was rescued at the age of 13 years by Fr. Rector near Secunderabad Railway Station in the year 2002 while he was working in Hotel in front of Secunderabad Railway Station. Because of the family problems and disputes he ran away from home town Pedda kakani village and Mandal in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh and started working in a Hotel. He stayed more than one month in New Bhoiguda Centre. After preliminary observations at shelter he was transferred to Don Bosco Navjeevan Rehabilitation centre, Ramanthapur for his further studies. He successfully completed his 7th – 10th classes in Christ the King School in Ramanthapur.
Later years the staff of Don Bosco Navajeevan traced the whereabouts of Gopi and informed the parents. He left Don Bosco Navajeevan with permission at the age of 17 years in the year 2006 to attend his elder sister’s marriage. While he was at home, he saw an advertisement in news paper and applied for the post in Indian Army and got selected in 2007 and went to Bangalore for his training.
At present, he is working in Jammu & Kashmir as a Major cadre. He is earning more than 50, 000/- and supporting his family. He is very much thankful to the management and staff of Don Bosco Navajeevan as he got a good life and a successful career.
Name: Vaaka Gopi Krishna Mother’s Name: Kumari
Father’s Name: Somaiah Elder Sister: Lalitha
Younger Sister: Pravallika
Address: Peddakakani(Village&Mandal) Guntur District
Contact No’s: 08463931308(J&K) 7207774347 (Andhra Pradesh).
CHILD LABOURER EVEN AFTER ADOPTION
Shahida’s parents passed away at an early age and her grandfather gave her and her brother in adoption to a muslim family. She recalls that she and her brother served the family for 7 years doing household chores and being at the service of the elders of the family. She worked long hours, had no sufficient food, and had to eat all that was left behind, was sleepless and was often beaten even without a reason. Her brother was in a better position because he was a male. Seeing her pathetic condition and hearing the screams she made while she was ill treated, the neighbours around that home complained to the police. She was rescued from this horrible situation when she was 10 years old. CWC sent her to Auxilium Care Home. Considering her age, she was directly enrolled in 4th class and studied up to 8th class staying in that care home.
Shahida joined Don Bosco Prem Seva Sadan in 2015 to continue her education as she felt that there were better facilities here to fulfill her dreams. She secured 80% in her 10th standard, 70% in 12th standard and 71% in her degree (B.Com Computers). She has a strong desire to finish her professional course MBA in Finance or HR specialization. She wants to get into to accounting section by learning Tally programme. She is a girl with talents of singing and dancing. She was sent to Gagillapur to attend short term beautician course, tailoring and electrical. She worked during Corona time part time, when the educational institutions were on holiday, in Schinder Company to earn some money for her future. She is happy that she has 30,000 in her account.
Shahida lives with a hope that her brother still lives somewhere in the globe. She dreams that she should get to know his whereabouts at least before her marriage. She thinks of settling well in life with a good partner who understands her. She is ever grateful for the many opportunities given for her to continue her education.
ORPHANED BY HIS MOTHER’S REMARRIAGE
Mr. Sai Kumar was born in the year 2000. He hails from Nasurullabad village, Kamareddy Dt., Telangana. As the childhood was going smooth, a sudden demise of his father left him abandoned even though he had his mom. After the death of the father, he went with his mother to live in his grandmother’s village. Soon, the mother got married to another man, who in turn told the boy not to be with him or his mother. Now he felt totally abandoned by his entire family. In 2012, he ran away from his village and landed up in Nampally Railway Station. The street educators of Don Bosco Navajeevan picked him up and joined him in Don Bosco Navajeevan Ramanthapur. Knowing that he completed 7th standard in his village, the management asked him to continue his education. He excelled in studies and sporting events. He finished now his final year of degree and wanting to study his PG in order to get placed in a better job. He is ever thankful to DBNJ and to the benefactors who gave him opportunities to excel in studies and accompanied him all throughout his education with parental support. He feels happy that he has a bigger family of DBNJ. His personal interest is in sports and he acquired basic computer skills. He is confident that he will get a better job and will be well placed in the society.
UTTER POVERTY MAKES HIM A COMPLETE ORPHAN
V. Pawan Kalyan was born in the year 2000. His father was a vagabond. He left the family and went off to some faraway place leaving the child and the mother. The mother could not look after the needs of the child and so she left him with his grandmother. The mother went about doing small chores in the houses around. She never came back to see the child or her own mother. He studied up to 5th class in the village. His grandmother was not able to earn enough to look after the boy and herself. With the hope of a better job in the city, in 2010 she came to Hyderabad with the boy and while walking in the Nampally Railway Station, he missed the grandmother. The railway police found him weeping. Upon the enquiry, they found the grandmother. But she expressed her inability to look after the boy and told the police to find a possible hostel for him. He was brought to DBNJ Nampally. With the help of the benefactors and the support of the management, he completed his Intermediate and Diploma in Education. Having the desire to learn trades, he chose electrical course organized in DBHRC, Gagillapur and worked as apprentice in Schinder Electronics, Hyderabad. He is a good dancer. He is happy with the educational opportunities provided to him by DBNJ. Now he wants to further study and complete his degree. It is surprising to see that he does not remember his village name. It shows how much he is disconnected from his village.
A SCHOOL DROP-OUT AND A VICTIM OF CHILD MARRIAGE
Sarojini, now aged 21, ran away from home (Jilumgere Thanda, Raichur District, Karnataka) just before the day of her marriage when she was 14 years old. She was forced to marry her close relative uncle (the brother of her mother). She got into a bus not knowing the destination to which the bus was going as she was a school dropout (studied up to 2nd class only) and could not read properly the route board of the bus. She reached Hyderabad and was sitting alone in a corner of the bus-stand. The patrolling police picked her from there and produced her in front of the CWC. She did not want to go back with her parents fearing that they would get her married at any cost. With the fear of getting married at an early age and wanting to study, she expressed her desire to stay back under the protection of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Hyderabad. Further CWC sent her to Don Bosco Prem Seva Sadan (DBPSS) Girls Home, Hyderabad for her rehabilitation programme.
Considering her age, the management decided to prepare her to appear for open 10th class public examination. From age 7 she started working as child labourer in their own small farm land and as a daily casual labourer in the fields in the nearby villages. She passed her 10th Board examination with 6.6 average score. Later, she passed her intermediate education and degree studies as a regular student. She completed her B.Com computers with 84%. She has a strong desire to complete her M.B.A. (Finance) and secure a job before planning get married. Besides seeking her formal education, she completed short term beautician course in Don Bosco Human Resource Development Centre, Gagillapur and worked part time in Schinder Company to earn some income for her needs.
Sarojini’s daddy is still not reconciled with her and does not consider her achievement in life. He is still hostile to her by reminding himself of the so called dishonor the girl brought to him by running away from marriage. Her family doesn’t cooperate even after so many years when asked about securing her social entitlements. Since she is a girl belonging to the schedule tribe (ST) community, Don Bosco Navajeevan, Hyderabad is making every effort to accompany her in fulfilling her dreams and aspirations and prove her social status so that she can securely find a government job. She proudly recollects that she is the only girl in her native village with so much educational qualification.