I am Aditya Vasanti, brought up in SOS Children’s Village, Pune. Because I lost my parents at age of 4 years. I still don’t know who am I? Because although I knew that I am someone’s child but still I don’t have any identity. Luckily I found the SOS Children’s Village as a family where I could have to protect and found a new identity to survive in the mainstream of the society. Throughout their care and support, I could have built my personality and became a responsible citizen of this country. I have done my Graduation, Post graduation till SOS CV support. However, when I left the SOS Children’s Village support at that time I didn’t have any legal identity like Pancard, address proof. There was no any follow up to my other siblings who left the SOS care same as I had to. Many of them were struggling to get employment opportunity and some of them trapped by alcohol addicted friends in the local community. To fulfil alcohol expenses and sustain themselves to adjust into the society they involved into anti-social activities. Initially, I was also trapped but when I realised about that then I moved ahead and went for the Gandhi fellowship. There I learned about the value of self-dignity and vision towards my life. During the fellowship I got an opportunity to attend the international conference in Japan related my interest field, however, I couldn’t be attended this conference due to lack of required document. Then I moved to study the issue of Orphan and Destitute youth during the M.Phil programme and currently studying on the status of Orphan and Destitute Youth in Aftercare Programme under the P.hd in Social Work Education from TISS, Mumbai. During that period of my post graduate education, I have visited many places and seen the facts about the situation of children in residential child care set up. Especially in Government run children home. It’s really worst than what I had imagined. Children were put as like of they are in the prison. Since childhood, they haven’t been traced/told about their family and after the age of 18 years, they suddenly forced to leave the child care institute. After coming out from the institutional care there is no any support system into the mainstream of the society and even not any legal proof that whether the child belongs to the particular community. Thus the problem starts, she has been trapped by the social evils where many girls trapped in human trafficking for the sex trade and boys get involved in different crimes and addictions. The system don’t support them because now they have crossed the age of 18 years. Neither government system has a potential policy and programme to prevent those youth from such malpractices nor the community is ready to support to provide them shelter and accpet them as an another human being.
Recently I met one of my inmate during the childhood, Priya (name changed). She is having disability, total orphaned, only 4th std education. She shared with me her issue that during childhood the orgnization where she is to stay, they transfered her into the organization at Mumbai from Pune due to her violant behavior, in the new organization she was alone and felt very bad when she been treated badly by the organization staff the till age of 18 years. After that, the organization forced her to leave the organization and she came back to Pune to get back her into the previous organization. The Sad part, no one did support her to build her confidence and thus she started to find out the job. But, again bad things happen with her. The owner of the shop in Pune trapped her into sex racket and literally she been abused and beaten up by them. However, within that racket, one man (accused) promised her to get marry with her and produced three girls without getting marry with her. When Priya got to knew that she has trapped, but that time it was late and when she raised the voice so the man who had committed her for the support he beaten up and thrown her on the street in the slum of Pune. Nobody came to the front to protect her. The situation was very worst when she was alone with three daughters and nobody helped her, initially she begged to fill her stomach, but again her old customer came and gave some easy money root and that was again going into a risk model. She accepted that and started to satisfied her customers. She kept her daughters into another child home where they get safety and basic facilities. And now her daughters are growing up and they got a good education with the scholarship. But again here the problem stuck that the system has asked them to produce father’s detail, whereas even those girls are also unaware that how they were produced and the status of their father and mother. And now she needs guidance and supports how to produce the legal document where she doesn’t have any legal identity, less education and lack of supportive system. So my question is who and how it will get support to Priya to become a citizen of this nation and get access of all kindness and dignity as everyone deserves it for that.
I think this is not only one Priya there are many like her and they really have been facing various problems due to lack of care and protection system by the system and acceptance by the society.