During the early years of her life Pallavi’s home life was disturbed by family violence and alcoholism. Her Mother and Father would fight on a daily basis and both would drink regularly. Pallavi’s mother gave birth to four other children all of whom died within a matter of months. After sometime Pallavi’s father became very sick and left to live with his own Mother. Pallavi, then 9 years old, lived alone with her Mother who would beat her regularly and spend all their money on alcohol. She was forced to beg for food on the streets. Pallavi soon discovered that her father had died from AIDS.
After a particularly bad beating from her Mother, Pallavi ran away to her Grandmother’s house. While there she worked as a domestic child labourer. Pallavi became worried for her Mother and ran away to her home only to discover that her Mother had gone. For five days she slept at her house waiting for her mother to return. When she was alone at home the neighbours took her to Peenya Police Station, from there she went to Child Help Line and was admitted to Baale Mane.
Pallavi is now 17 years old and studying in 2nd PUC having achieved a 1st class in her 1st PUC exams. She is a very talented dancer and has performed for numerous audiences for Baale and at her school and college. She enjoys yoga and leads the daily morning sessions for the other children at Baale. She performs in streets plays on the subject of child rights in slums and for other organisations. She is a confident and engaging girl with aspirations to become a model or a Chartered Accountant!
Pallavi’s Aunt (Father’s sister) was recently found after nine years, informing us that her Mother had also died from AIDS. Thankfully Pallavi has tested negative for HIV. Her Aunt has requested to be of moral support to Pallavi in the coming years.
When Chaithra was 6 years old her parents sent her to work as a domestic child labourer. She did not see her parents again. Her employers beat her badly and so she ran away. She travelled to Mysore by train where the police picked her up at the station and took her to a girl’s shelter. There she was sent to school and completed her 4th Standard but eventually she ran away from this hostel because they were treating her badly. She travelled to Raichur by train where a man at the station took her to his home and forced her to sell alcohol to people in the village often physically abusing her. After one year of being forced to do this work she ran away and travelled by train to Bangalore where she was picked up by police and admitted to Baale Mane at the age of 12.
Chaitra is now 17 and about to start her 1st PUC year. She is doing very well in her studies and enjoys talking about the daily news and current affairs. She is also a talented Mehindi artist and painter and hopes to continue to nurture this talent. She recently completed a month’s yoga training which enables her to be certified to teach. In the future she has ambitions to study Mechanical Engineering and join the air force.
After an accident with fire at her home, Madhumala’s parents started neglecting her, eventually throwing her out of the house. Her mother tried to place her in domestic service, but her grandmother rescued her and sent her to Bangalore. In Bangalore she lived on the street before being picked up by a slum family who directed her to Paraspara trust and the Baale.
Madhumala has recently turned 18 and received a 2nd Class in her 1st PUC exams. She has now begun her 2nd PUC year. She is dedicated and hard working and hopes to carry on to higher education and become a computer software engineer. With funds secured by the Paraspara Trust, Madhumala has undergone surgery to address her disfigurement in 2007. With further funding from The Friends of The Baale Mane in the UK, Madhumala underwent a second surgery to smooth out the skin on her face. The surgery was completed in March 2012 and she is recovering well. Further funds are currently being sought for corrective surgery on the rest of her body.
Megha grew up in a happy and loving family until her mother died in an accident. Her father married again and Megha’s stepmother made her stay at home instead of sending her to school. Her stepmother used to beat her if she failed to complete all her tasks. Megha ran away from home and went to live with her aunt who also expected her to take care of the entire household. Her Aunt was addicted to Arrack – a coarse liquor which contains 54% alcohol. One night she broke an Arrack bottle and fearful of her aunt’s reaction, she slept in the streets overnight. Her aunt beat her the next day.
Her father brought Megha back home but her stepmother insisted that she leave so she was sent for domestic work in Shivaji Nagar. Her father took all of her small salary. Megha was expected to look after the family’s children but received neither proper food nor an appropriate place for sleeping. One day she ran away back to her aunt’s house, where she was found by Paraspara volunteers and referred to the Baale.
Megha completed her 2nd PUC after ten years at Baale Mane. She is now living in the city and working in Administration at an IT company. She is the first girl to leave having completed her education and is an inspiration to the other girls.
After her father’s death, Fathima lived with her mother in a small hut in Kopala village. Her mother worked as a coolie and Fathima was enrolled in the nearby governmental school. She was not good at studying, so her mother sent her to a tuition class in the evening. The tutor was very rude to her and punished her physically for not completing her work. The tutor had an affair with her mother, who gave birth to a boy baby. After the baby’s birth, Fathima was made to carry out all the household work. One morning, she woke up to find that her mother had died due to an electric shock. After her mother’s death she was taken to her aunt’s house and was well looked after until her aunt lost her husband. Fathima was again made responsible for all the household work and her aunt started harassing her. A schoolmaster living next door to her aunt’s house attended a Paraspara Trust State level child rights workshop and reported what he had seen. As a result Fathima was brought to the Baale.
After seven years at the Baale, Fathima is studying in 10th standard and is doing very well. She is a very sociable and happy individual. Her goal is to continue to do well in her studies so that she may pursue a career in the Police or become a computer engineer.