Boy's suicide turns spotlight on Bala Mandira

Boy's suicide turns spotlight  on Bala Mandira


Anand, father of Karthik (inset), was inconsolable during the post-mortem of his son in Kolar Gold Fields. dh photo

Thus came to an end the life of a promising child. The inmates of Bala Mandira are still in state of shock. They are not able to digest the fact that Karthik is no more. The staff of Bala Mandira have also not come to terms with his demise.

Soon after Karthik’s birth, his mother deserted his father and walked out of his life. An alchoholic father could not take care of Karthik, nor did any relatives come forward to take his responsibility.

Uncared, ignored, Karthik landed up at the Bala Mandira, which takes care of orphan children. Having deceived of care, affection, warmth and shelter, Karthik was kind of a free-spirited kid. He was extremely intelligent and sportive than the other inmates.

It is learnt that the orphanage staff and the police personnel were so impressed by his smartness that some of them were even planning to adopt him. Inspite of all this, people wonder what could have led Karthik to take such an extreme step.

The restrictions at the Bala Mandira and the conduct of the staff there are also not above board. The Bala Mandira was earlier referred to as Remand Home and Centre for Juvenile Offenders. The practice of educating children at the centre itself has been dropped. They are now being sent to a nearby government school so as to ensure that they mingle with society at ease. However, educating and correcting children, who have seen the ‘real face’ of life is no child’s play. Special efforts are required to change the mindset of such children.

The staff have failed in maintaining hygiene at the Bal Mandir clean. There are also complaints that well-built children are compelled to labour. Inmates are compelled to overflowing  toilet. It is another travesty that these shortcomings do not figure in the meeting of Child Welfare Committee, which meet every Saturday.

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