Sunday, October 30, 2011

Abandoning the girl child........

I was watching a talk show in a Tamil channel and was impressed by what one of the speakers had to say. She was abandoned at a bus stand by her father at the age of 5. She is unable to recall her mother’s face but remembers the color of the sari she was wearing when her father took her to the bus stand following a quarrel with her mother, told her that he would be back soon but never returned. She was given food and shelter by a family who made her look after a sick person for ten long years but she was probably treated well because she still refers to them as amma and appa. She would call the son of the family anna and the grandfather as thatha. Though had to work for a living she has no bitter memories of the time spent with them.

When she turned 15, the lady of the house or ‘amma’ as she calls her, passed away. The father of the household sent her to work for some relative of theirs but she came back to him when she sensed the possibility of being sexually abused by two married sons in the family. Not knowing what to do with her, the master got her married to a 49 year old man who was probably a sick person because he passed away within 2 years of their marriage. She had a son by him. With no money and no one to support her, she took up the job of sweeping and cleaning the premises of a church when a kind hearted man married her and accepted her child as his own. She has a son by her second husband and her condition has now vastly improved. Her husband works in the Middle East and they have a house of their own. She just has one lingering desire. She wants her husband to help her seek out her parents particularly her mother. He has promised to do whatever he can to help her trace her birth mother.

“What purpose will it serve” asked the host of the show. She remembers her parents’ names but little else. She is perhaps in her mid twenties with dreams of a bright future for her sons. She has a caring husband and everything a girl of her age could ask for. Would it not be better to put her unhappy past behind and start a new life? Why would she want to rake up unpleasant memories of her past?

Her response brought tears to my eyes.

“I just want to know if my father deliberately abandoned me or if it was a case of unintentional negligence.”

She perhaps wants to confirm what she had believed all along – that her parents did not abandon her on purpose and she perhaps got ‘lost’.

“What if you find out that it was an act of willful abandonment?” asked the host.

“I would think that circumstances were such that they were forced to abandon me. No parent would deliberately leave a five year old daughter to fend for herself.”

I was full of admiration for this young woman. Anyone in her place would have been full of resentment for the father who left her stranded in a crowded bus stand. Anything could have happened to her were it not for the family who took her along. They did not educate her and made her do odd jobs. But they did not exploit her sexually or otherwise. She remembers that she had 3 sisters and a brother all older than her.

“Why me?” would be the question she ought to ask. But she has cherished warm feelings of affection and love for them instead of hatred. God bless you my child. How could your parents discard you without a thought? But then why should I think they abandoned her? It is perhaps human nature to be suspicious. Jessie, as the girl is now called, was unique not to think ill of them.

Children who complain that their parents did not provide them well enough should learn a lesson from the likes of Jessie. I do hope she is able to locate her parents and I pray that she is right in her assessment about them.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

i hate parents who abandon their kids or decide to bring them into this world without having the resources to bring them up.
a maid's kids in my neighbourhood sit outside in the hot sun while the mother scrubs utensils inside.her wy of restraining kids is to slap them ,and she does it often,when they create noise.the children are sobbing mostly.i fail to understand such parents and why should we be thankful, when our parents did what they should have when they brought us into this world?

people just like making children,not having them.

Prasetyo said...

Nice blog. I'm just walking and stoping here. I'm very interesting when i see your blog. Good job.

Nb: Dont forget to visit my blog and give your comment to us. Thanks.

Neha said...

Every day there are similar stories in the news. Jessie's courage and strength are remarkable. Though most abandoned children do not meet such fate. Their lives are scarred and ruined. Wish our societies could get more sensitive and caring!

Cocktail Party said...

I must say that she is lucky to have a better life than many of the abondoned kids who fall into wrong hands. I appreciate the family with which she stayed during her childhood.. it must have been the influence of the love she saw in that house among family members that made her want to find her own... Maybe all her siblings were abondoned like her .. but only time can tell.... I really wish that every individual is more responsible in their actions... whether it is to have kids or bring them up...

Hip Grandma said...

anon:Yes it is unfair to abandon children after deciding to have them. it is not unusual to see children being ill treated by parents who do not have the means to feed and clothe them. Very often the woman has no say in these matters. The husband takes no responsibility and the onus falls on the woman.

Prasteyo:welcome here and thanks.

Neha:Jessie was luckier than most in her situation. Society's well being and societal commitments are not given much thought in the fast life one leads. But as you say we need to do more.

Cocktail party:you are right. once you have kids they are your responsibility. Those that don't feel up to it ought not to have them.

tys said...

though it is difficult to admit, some people seems to evolve better even in horrible situation...there really seem to be nice people...

hope she finds her parents...everybody deserves answers..who really knows what prompts people to do what they do?

latha vijayakumar said...

Social awareness post.
Thanks for sharing

NBose said...

The word abandoning is so heart wrenching....lump forms in my throat when i try to think about abandoned children....GOD saved that girl....I love reading your blog and sat well past midnight everyday till a week to finish reading all your older posts....very nicely penned.

Music-TapLeaks said...

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Hip Grandma said...

Tys:True. i too hope that she finds her parents.

Latha:welcome here.thanks.

NBose:Just when i was planning to give up blogging a comment such as yours appears and I feel cheered. Welcome and thanks.

NBose said...

Oh No...plz dont stop writing, ur posts are so free flowing and straight frm heart.i loved reading them
If u find som time...plz visit my blog at http://nibedita-bose.blogspot.com/ and let me know hw u found it.

kallu said...

Came by your blog via Radha's.Interesting to read. Keep roaring around in your red Alto, grandma.