We have all heard rags to riches stories. Well, this story is not about riches, but about opportunities and the rebirth of a childhood. It’s the story of Rajesh (name has been changed to protect the privacy of the child), a 13 year old boy who went from begging on the streets to a future he deserves. It’s also the story of a good Samaritan, an ordinary person such as you and me, who chose to make a difference.
Rajesh was born in Pandharpur 20 years after the marriage of his parents. His father was a labourer who got drunk often and beat his mother. Three years after Rajesh was born, his father contracted TB and due to lack of treatment, passed away in 2008. With no means of supporting herself and her toddler, his mother resorted to begging on the streets and staying in the Vitthal Mandir. She enrolled Rajesh in the Municipality school, but he dropped out in two years. He joined his mother in begging on the streets and all her attempts to send him back to school failed.
One day, a friend referred his mother to Sparsh and Timothy. After meeting them, Timothy was moved and wanted to do something for this child. However, there was no place at Sparsh to accommodate another child. Timothy couldn’t get Rajesh out his mind and finally after three months of anguish, on the New Year’s Day he made arrangements and brought Rajesh home to Sparsh on January 4, 2013.
With Timothy’s guidance, Rajesh flourished and enrolled in school again. Today he is in the seventh standard at New Life School. He loves playing football and dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer or a football player when he grows up.
Rags to riches? Maybe not yet, but Rajesh is definitely on the way!