Siddhalinga Hiremath, 17 years, hails from Pujar Oni, Marewada village, Dharwad and was a school
dropout from the past three years. Today, had he continued his education, he would have been in college. His father late Mr. Karagayya Hiremath passed away leaving his mother Mrs. Mahadevi Hiremath in economic crisis. The lady works as a domestic help. The child was so fickle minded that he tried hurting his very own sister with a sharp knife and also got in fight with neighbors and other boys of the locality every now and then. This hurt his mother the most who asked for help from Childline Collab. Hence, a detailed counseling was needed.
BDSSS’ staff Drakshayani Hampannavar and Chandrashekhar Rahutar had first visited the village and later called the mother and asked her to drop into the Collab office. The counseling was done on 17 th March 2020 by the Collab Counselor. His mother was a daily wage labourer, finding it difficult to earn her livelihood after Siddhaling’s father’s death. The boy would lose his temper every so often and get into fights with everyone. So much that one of the neighbors tried hitting him and also wanted to apparently kill him. The boy chewed tobacco and gutkha, consumed alcohol and even hit his own mother and sister. He was also involved in petty robbing of his own mother’s money.
When he had come to BDSSS, he had bruises on his leg and neck as he was hit by other boys of his locality. He was mentally unstable and would always be in anger. The reason of the anger seemed to be acute poverty of the family and the child’s comparison with other children’s lifestyles. He was attracted towards money and bikes. BDSSS Director too counseled the child and said that education will bring a better job to him and then he can buy all comforts of life. The observation by the BDSSS Counselor was that the child was upset because of acute poverty and would compare himself with others. On 17.3.2020, he was produced to CWC and a medical test was done. He was against living in the open shelter as ordered by the CWC but it was dangerous for him to live in his village.
The same boy, who was unwilling to live in open shelter, transformed drastically in the open shelter living with other children under the vigilant eyes of the staff members. According to the officials, the child is participating in many competitions and games that are held within the institution and has shown promising signs of improvement. The biggest issue of the child was that he turned to tobacco and alcohol addict and would not adhere to any standards of a civilized life, hence he was referred to DIMHANS but his stay at the open shelter made him polite.
At present, his mother is happy with the progress and has thanked BDSSS for its unremitting efforts. The counselor’s counseling worked extremely well for the child.