Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hostels for the children

April 2014

Eashwaramma is laid down with body pains after the chikunguniya attack. With her poor health, it has affected her badly. She is again asking me to find a good hostel for her two grandchildren. She asks how the children can stay dependent on her. I had tried hard for the children, after the trauma of murder of father, and abandonment by mother, to stay on with the grandmother, so that they have the security and love of a family and community. I told Eashwaramma that all expenses would be taken care of.

Now I am feeling unsure as the boy is ten. A fine boy, but running wild as the grandmother cannot control him. He can end up in bad ways in a couple of years if he does not have proper direction and discipline.

SOS has good hostels - but it is designed for orphans. In SOS the children are distanced from their roots and made to own up  SOS as their home. Is this good for the children ? For the grandmother ?

Government hostels are usually not great.

Upper class schools - how will the poor dalit children fit in, even if kind sponsers are ready to support. To anticipate how children who have had everything against them - dalit backgroud, utter poverty, death of one parent, abandonment by another, poor schooling, undernourishment -will adapt to a set of children far better off is very very difficult.

To deal with the problems of the disadvantaged is to place oneself in an unenviable position of making options where none really seem to exist.

To try to help the poor is a punishment ... one is fighting with hands tied behind one's back, blindfoled ... and fighting battles after the war has been lost.

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