Mangalore: Motherless and Rejected by Family, Little Shashi, Tanu Show Exemplary Courage
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Jun 13: Shashi and Tanu are two young boys, who, until a few months ago were like any other children. Their lives changed forever early this year, and now, motherless and without their father too, young Shashi has to look after his ailing little brother.
Ten-year-old Shashi and four-year-old Tanu are children of Nagaraj and Chandramma from Hosadurg in Chikmagalur, who worked there in a coffee estate. Theirs was an inter-caste marriage, resulting in the severing of ties with their families. However, it was not a happy marriage, and fight between the couple was a daily routine.
On January 17 this year, one of their usual fights turned into tragedy when, Nagaraj in a fit of anger pushed Chandramma on to a live electric wire. She died, while Tanu who was in her arms sustained burn injuries. Alarmed at his action, Nagaraj fled, and has been absconding ever since. Till date, his whereabouts are not known.
The children are now as good as orphans, with no one to look after them. They have relatives, but no has come to their help as their parents had married against their wishes. What's worse, Daijiworld has learnt that the grandparents had come to visit the children in the hospital, but far from showing compassion, they took away whatever little money the boys had, given to them by generous donors!
The children had only Prakash, the one who brought the boys from their native to work here. Prakash shifted the injured Tanu to Wenlock hospital in the city. Tanu is now recovering and Shashi too is with him. Prakash used to attend to the children and give the nurses money given to him by his boss, instructing them to give the children whatever they wanted.
Young Shashi, who could study only up till 2nd standard, is now in the hospital, day and night looking after his little brother, giving him mother's love and care and ensuring that he does not miss their parents. It is a heart-rending sight, a boy who is not even in his teens is forced to give up his education and his childhood, all owing to a drunkard father and the stereotyped attitudes of the family who have rejected them for no fault of theirs. When they should be in school and on playgrounds with friends, Shashi and Tanu are nursing their wounds, least of all physical ones, braving the storm all alone.
Also, Prakash who used to look after them has not turned up for the last one month. When Daijiworld tried to contact him, his number was out of network coverage.
The only silver lining in the little boys' lives right now is that the nurses at Wenlock are giving them loads of care and attention. They are friendly with the boys and very helpful. Shashi says that whenever he needs anything, he only has to ask the nurses and he gets it. Harini is their favourite nurse. Having attended school only up till 2nd standard, Shashi is keen to study further and confidently says that he wants to become a doctor.
Shashi is admirably mature for his small age. Gifted with the ability to percieve things and deal with situations, Shashi and Tanu deserve a better life, says the nurse looking after them, adding that they need support to pursue their education as well as financial help. Tanu's treatment, including medicines, is being done free of cost at Wenlock.
Nevertheless, as the children are minors and on their own, not much can be done for them financially. However, after getting discharged from Wenlock, they will be handed over to the child welfare committee, after which interested individuals or organizations may contact the committee and extend their help.
Speaking to Daijiworld, Asha Nayak of district child welfare committee said that once the children are handed over to the committee, a bank account will be opened in their name. The children cannot be adopted, but may be taken under foster care, provided that both the children are taken together, she said. Interested persons may contact her on 9886171837 between 9 am and 10.30 am and between 5 pm and 9.30 pm.
Editor's note: Though Shashi and Tanu are in need of help, it is advisable to wait until the children are under the care of the child welfare committee. Daijiworld will keep its readers updated and notify once they are handed over.