Meeting the orphan
12th June, 2010
It was 4 in the evening and it was lightly pouring, when the car suddenly stopped. The passenger who was a lean man in his early thirties, enquired with his driver, the reason for stopping the car. “Sir, some people are blocking the road and I am not able to move the car”, said the driver. “Let me get down and find out what’s happening. I have a meeting in 10 minutes”, thought Mr. Sinha. In a minute, Mr. Sinha got out of the car and was trying to make his way through the gathered crowd, when he saw a fat bellied man beating a little boy who was half-naked aged about 7, with a cane.
15th February, 1993
A young pale looking boy Raju, wearing just a dhoti and no shirt ran towards the bakery shop from where the aroma of some of his favorite puffs came. The owner had gone out for lunch and Meetu, his worker was fast asleep after a heavy lunch. The boy, who was about 13 years, silently entered the shop and stole a loaf of bread from the shop. As he was about to leave, the owner of the shop seemed to have appeared from nowhere, giving the boy the fright of his life. He beat Raju black and blue for stealing and villagers silently stood there watching this happen. Not even a single soul made an attempt to stop the man. “Thief! He deserved it”, whispered few among themselves.
12th June, 2010
“Will you stop beating the boy”, shouted Mr. Sinha as he held the hand of the man beating the poor child. “Sir, you don’t interfere with this. He stole bread from my shop. He needs to be thrashed for that”, baker argued.
“I will pay you for that”, said Sinha taking out a 100 Rupee note.
The boy thanked Sinha for helping him and even fell to his feet. Sinha asked the boy to get into his car. Initially, the boy hesitated but later agreed. He was then treated with a luxury lunch at one of the costliest restaurants in town. After having one of the nicest lunches he ever had, the boy confessed, “Sir, I was hungry and I had no money. Unlike other children, I have no parents to feed me. I am an orphan”. Saying this, the boy started crying.
1st October, 1991
“Please lend me some money. My mother is very sick and I need to get some medicines for her immediately”, pleaded Raju, very thin after having starved for plenty of days.
“Your father had taken a loan of 10,000 Rupees, he never returned them to me. How do you expect me to lend you more? First pay me back my 10,000”, yelled the rich man.
“I will be getting money from the government. I will return the money to you as soon as I get it from them”, the boy said, thinking about the money that was granted by the government to his family. It was 3 years since it had been granted but he had not seen a single Rupee nor had he seen any government official enter the village so far. Not that he was losing any hope.
As he started heading home, he passed the land that had once belonged to his father. Now a huge building was being erected there.
Pic taken from here
“What is it that you are building here? “, the boy found some courage to ask a man in a costly suit wearing Rayban glasses. “We are building a big company here. Do you even know what that is? Illiterate villager”, he muttered under his breath.
Just when Raju reached his house, he saw Kamala aunty, his neighbor there. She was weeping loudly. As soon as she saw the boy, she hugged him and cried “Sorry son, your mother is no more.”
Mother was all that the boy had as part of his family. And today he had lost her as well.
12th June, 2010
“What did you say your father did?”, Mr.Sinha asked.
“He was a farmer, sir. A very good farmer”, the boy said.
“Whatever happened to your father and mother?”
“My father committed suicide and so did my mother after being unable to pay loans”, saying the boy wiped a tear that had managed to escape from his eyes.
21st September, 1988
A man had committed suicide in the village. This was not something unusual to have happened in that village or for that matter, in the state or even the country. Lot of people had gathered to mourn for his death. He was one of the youngest people in the village and nobody could believe that he was dead. The press reporters had also gathered, trying to make the news sensational.
Miss Gupta posed in front of the camera and narrated the situation, as her correspondent Chawla was taking interviews. The entire nation was watching this.
The person who had died was a farmer. This year’s drought was responsible for his death. After suffering huge losses, he wanted to buy some seeds so that he could feed his starving family. He had been duped into taking a huge loan from a person who had asked him to just put his thumb impression on a paper in return. The farmer being unable to read what was written in there had blindly put his thumb impression on it. The paper clearly stated that the farmer no longer owned his 10-acre land, but little did he know about that. One fine day, the men who claimed to own the land came with a lot of workers and started construction in his land. How was he even going to feed his wife, his old parents and his son? The poor man unable to see that the only land he owned was being taken away from him, committed suicide. He had wanted his son to become a doctor, so that he could take care of his sick wife.
Another farmer, another suicide, same story! Blame the drought, blame the hunger, blame the huge losses, blame the unpaid loan (bank interests), blame his hungry/famished dependent family. He died because our society never let him live, never wanted him to thrive, never helped him in his hour of need. But we duped him of his land, of his money, of his livelihood, of his life.
“This is probably the fifth farmer who has committed suicide this month”, announced Miss Gupta on her microphone. “What is the government doing to prevent such suicides from happening?”
Pic taken from here
5th April, 1997
The young orphan Raju, once saw a huge car stand in front of him. A rich couple Mr. and Mrs. Sinha got down from the car and offered to adopt him. He found the parental love, which had been missing from his life for such a long time. That night he looked at the stars and smiled thinking about the heavy dinner he just had for the first time after so many years.
12th June, 2010
“Son, come with me. I will give you shelter and food”, said Mr. Raju Sinha, the once orphaned, who now had a family to say of his own. It was time for Raju to repay what he had received from his foster parents. It was indeed one of the happiest days of his life so far.
P.S: This is completely a work of fiction.
- Farmers in our country are dying by committing suicide. In our race for globalization and urbanization, are we totally neglecting our farmers and villages? Aren’t farmers the ones who give us food to eat? 200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997. According to wiki, more than 17,500 farmers a year killed themselves between 2002 and 2006. In Karnataka, the number stood at 1,003, since 2005-06 till August 2009. Check the Wiki link here. Why do we let such things happen in an agricultural country? I feel it is time to take some action and make sure no farmer commits suicide in our country. We cannot neglect farmers, just because we have huge companies ruling the country’s economy.
- Another problem to be noted down is illiteracy. If we can make every farmer a literate, he would never get tricked into signing a paper without reading it.
- We see plenty of orphan children on the streets and these days we have NGOs trying to provide shelter for them. What I would like to see is more and more NGOs doing something for poor children. It’s not just NGOs but even we can do a lot like contributing used clothes or giving some donations to NGOs which are fighting for such causes.
- Also it would be nice if every rich person adopted a single orphan child and gave the child food and shelter. It is like giving a new life to a homeless child.