By Ravi Dixit, Mumbai
Today we bring you a story of Billu who did not wish to go to school and was getting into bad company. Vedanta’s Khushi- Care for the Underprivileged Children campaign follower spared some time and convinced his father to send him to school.. well done..
I live in Kolaba area of Mumbai and often go to sea-link for morning walk. Nothing new to watch except that you find a lot of people also walking with you and chatting. I was tired one day and decided to rest for a while on one of the benches. But a strong smoking smell and fumes suddenly made be cough-up. I turned my face to see who the person was and was surprised that a 12-13 year old boy was smoking with his friends.
First I thought of just letting it go and I should go and sit at some other place. But some how I decided to let go my thoughts and I should speak to them. Just briefly asking their names I turned to a boy, Billu, who informed that he started smoking just 10 days back and he is enjoying it as his friends are enjoying it. No purpose, just to enjoy.
I informed all of them about the ill effects of smoking and also that not only they are polluting the area but also polluting their entire body. Billu informed he helps his father running a tea stall nearby. He was too young to get engaged in any child labour activity and I was actually annoyed with his father. Holding his hand I took him to his father who was busy serving tea to the morning customers.
I first scolded him of not knowing that his son has been smoking for quite some time and then asked him why he did not send him to school. Warning him of legal action as he was engaging a child as labour I tried convincing him sending Billu to school and that if he can’t afford Ill pay the fees and cost of books.
Billu’s father was not that bad. He informed that his son has been easy going and was not wanting to go to school and thus to lend him as well a helping hand he started bringing him to the shop. But now he will take him and get him admitted in the school. He politely informed that he earns enough to send Billu to school and buy him uniform and books.
I was happy. I knew Billu will be not be happy as he would be loosing his bad company but I also knew that today’s efforts might make Billu an educated responsible person tomorrow.
I read Khushi debates on Facebook on street children and I completely aligned with the thought. I am happy I could wake-up a parent and my little effort will make difference in at least one child’s life.
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