December 24, 2010

Sale, averted

I'm going to a children's court in a few minutes. Here's why.

A couple I know well took a train from Chhattisgarh, where they work, to Bombay 3 days ago. On the platform in Bilaspur before the train left, they found a man waiting for the train too, with two girls, perhaps 6 and 3. He was calling the younger girl Muskaan, which is a name the woman I know likes, so she spoke to him, remarking on the name.

Turns out he's from a village outside Bilaspur, but works as a security guard in Kalyan. Had four kids -- oldest a boy, then these two girls, then a boy again. They stayed with his wife in the village while he worked in Kalyan. A while ago, the wife absconded with another man and their youngest son. He asked his brother, back in the village, to take care of the kids. Brother said he didn't want the girls, took the oldest and has gone to Gujarat to work making bricks.

This man had no choice but to bring the girls to Bombay. But he lives in a shed with 12 other men, which is not a place for two little girls to live. Some "madam" in Bombay had offered to take the girls from him and pay him Rs 1 lakh. This is what he was planning to do.

The couple was aghast. Don't do this, they said. Get to Bombay and we'll see what we can do there.

They got off the train two nights ago, unsure if the man would call. In the meantime, they got in touch with a shelter we know well, where they take in homeless or street kids. The person in charge said they could take in the girls. But would the man call.

The next morning, he did call. That evening, the couple went to Thane, met him and brought him and the girls to the shelter, in Andheri. The rules are that he has to appear with them in front of a children's court and make his case for why the girls can't stay with him. If the court issues an order in his favour, they can move into this shelter, and he will come visit them once a week or so.

I haven't yet met the man and the girls. Now I will, as I go with them to the children's court with fingers crossed.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well good luck. What is the plan if court does not rule in his favour or other adverse like delay or graft?

mayank said...

i hope this works out.. there are few good people around and atleast the luck should favor those.

ps: its funny how people find madams to sell their daughters but dont find help in form of shelters / homes.

ramani said...

dilip, please tell those who are curious how it turned out. especially the person who wonders why such people don't find help in the form of shelters/ homes.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Too rushed to reply, about to get on the road, but there is something to tell. As soon as I get a chance...

Jai_C said...

pls update... hope this worked out.

thx,
Jai

Phani said...

Mr. Dilip D'Souza, can i please have your email id. - PK / Bangalore

Anonymous said...

Judge may need some chai money before he recommends kids to the shelter.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Phani, please leave your email id here in a comment, I will send you a note and then delete the comment.

Anonymous said...

Mr. D'Souza, what was the final outcome? Please advise, thanks. Sujata.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sujata, sorry I have been too preoccupied with a number of other distractions to post a followup here, or indeed to do much blogging in recent weeks at all (which I hope will change soonish!).

But you'll find some updates on Ramani's (above) blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the update Mr. D'Souza. I am so pleased to hear about the two children from Ramani's blog and will now go about setting up a find for them. Best regards, Sujata.