White Doves: Reinstating Dignity in Street Dwellers

Oct 13, 2010

Reality at Home

The well-heeled might have put on their linen night suits, switched on their air conditioners and snuggled into their warm blankets; for the rest of us it is very much the same routine minus the linen night suits and the split ACs. This is a scene at night in the average Mangalorean household. It is also a time when a whole new scene unfolds in the streets outside our homes; a scene which all of us seem unaware of and sometimes even ignorant to. The real life characters in this unfolding scene are innocent women and children who have neither a roof on their head nor clothes to cover themselves, let alone a blanket to give warmth.

Reality on the Street

There are no statistics to reveal the number of women and children on the streets of Mangalore. Even the law seems to treat these individuals as second class citizens not worthy of protection just because they have no identity or a standing in society.

One look at the White Doves home at Mannagudda and the numbers seem to tell a sorry tale. A tale of hapless women picked up from every corner of Mangalore. The tales of women who were abandoned by their dear ones because of reasons as varied as ill mental health or lack of finances; of women who had nowhere to go and ended up boarding a train to Mangalore from places as far as Mumbai, Bhopal and Kolkata; of women who were forced to beg for whatsoever reason or of women who are in their final stages of life due to lack of medical care. The plight of these women would melt the strongest of men.

Most of the rehabilitated women at the centre have been brutally tortured on the very streets of Mangalore we commute on day in and day out. In a country where even the financially stable and educated women become victims of unspeakable crimes one can only imagine the fate of the woman on the street! The hope for justice is a moon dream for the women on the street because without any kind of intervention from the police or even the public, the crimes these women suffer go unnoticed. Thanks to organisations like the White Doves at least some of the women on our streets can hope for basic necessities like a roof overhead, decent food, clothing and most important of all, people who care. Of all the heart-rending cases of exploitation and affliction of women at the White Doves home two cases are worth public attention for the nature of their existence and the timing of this article.


The woman in the picture was picked up last week from Hampankatta near  Ideal ice cream parlour. She was found lying without clothes on a footpath for a few days until somebody offered her a sari to cover. The White Doves team came across her during their daily trips around the city when they feed the needy on the streets. The White Doves team immediately picked up the woman and moved her to the safe precincts of the White Doves home. What’s interesting about this lady is that she had covered herself in an inexplicable mesh of wires, watches, blades etc weighing a few kilograms probably to protect her modesty. On close medical examination it was found that the woman had signs of torture on her body.

Though the woman is in a trance-like state she spoke in chaste Kannada and said that her name is Jyothi and that she hails from Davanagere. What’s even more fascinating is the ability of this woman to sketch bizarre patterns and designs on pieces of paper indicative of her creative bent of mind! The woman was found with a shaven scalp generally found among inmates in government-run rehab centres. Due to the efforts of NGOs such as White Doves this woman can now have a new lease of life but there are many more who are not so lucky and continue to suffer on our streets.


Another interesting case worth mentioning is the remarkable story of a young girl. Two years ago a man rang up the White Doves home at night informing them about a girl at the front gate. Without divulging further the man dropped the phone. At the front gate the White Doves team found a totally emaciated young girl who could barely stand as evident from her picture. The girl was immediately taken inside the house and fed. She seemed to have a low IQ and could barely speak. On further questioning she revealed her name as Prasanna. Prasanna seemed to have been starved for whatsoever reason.

When her story appeared in the Daijiworld portal last year one of her neighbours now residing in the States immediately recognised her from the picture and communicated some vital details pertaining to her location. On further enquiry it was found that Prasanna was from a Konkana family and a resident of Bondel. After the demise of her mother, her father remarried thus beginning her sad ordeal. She was made to starve to an extent that she fed on her own excreta to satisfy her hunger; something which is beyond our imagination.

Today Prasanna is a bundle of joy at the white Doves home and a far cry from her emaciated days. Her family members do not want her back nor does she want to return. The story of young Prasanna is not a one off case but just a glaring example of how humans tend to abandon their loved ones to satisfy their own selfish ends. Thanks to White Doves and humanists like Corine Rasquinha, there is a glimmer of hope for the abandoned in Mangalore.

The White Doves

It hurts to think that India, a country where women hold divine positions, where every river has a feminine name and where women have been revered as the givers of life and bringers of prosperity is also the very place where women have been left on the streets to fend for themselves, where women are forced to sell themselves and where women are tortured to the point that they kill themselves.

At a time when the government is talking about having a unique identity number for every citizen of the country it is disturbing to think that it is doing nothing to protect the identity of so many. As citizens of this city we are indeed fortunate that organisations like the White Doves are striving hard to protect the dignity and identity of the ‘so many’ on the streets of Mangalore.
What was started by Corine Rasquinha about 16 years ago to feed the needy and the sick on the streets of Mangalore has today grown into a full-fledged NGO with two homes housing more than 70 men and women at any given time rescued from various corners of the city. Over the years it has also managed to reunite many of its inmates with their loved ones. Some of its inmates have even gone on to study further and are now leading decent lives.
The NGO runs on contributions from the public and the remuneration earned from its White Doves choir. The work and service rendered by people like Corine Rasquinha and her White Doves team is in part comparable to the work done by another great legend of India, the Blessed Mother Teresa. The motto of White Doves is sharing and caring. Now as responsible citizens of Mangalore it is time we ask ourselves, are we sharing and caring with our lesser privileged men and women or treating them as citizens of the streets? The answer may lie in our collective conscience.

For more details about White Doves, its work and for contributions visit their website www.whitedoves.org.in.

You can also contact them via email at whitedovesmangalore@hotmail.com or corrineras@yahoo.co.in

by Ritesh Castelino
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • arun olivera, dubai / mangalore

    Tue, Oct 19 2010

    the team doing exelent work god may blees them . keep it up your social work

  • Stanley R.D'COSTA, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 15 2010

    I really commend the great service of white doves team. May God almighty give them strength and courage to continue their good work in future. I visited recently to Bethel Home at Padubidri wherein street roaming unsound persons are taken care of there and many of the inmates shown fast improvement in their mental health due to mass prayers there.

  • Primal Pinto, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 15 2010

    Great work Mr & Mrs Rasquinha. Great Write up Ritesh. Keep going

  • Primal Pinto, Mangalore

    Thu, Oct 14 2010

    Is it not a sad scene we are ignorant to? and yet we dream and speak of India to be a super power, a rich nation in the coming years, as we turn a blind eye to our weaker sections of the society we live in. Thank you Mr & Mrs Rasquinha for your selfless services. Good writing Shona.

  • Clara Lewis, Dubai

    Thu, Oct 14 2010

    Corine and team are angles to needy downtroden people, good work by Ritesh for bringing to light the work of White Dove's house otherwise many of us would not know about it.

  • Nikhil, Mangalore

    Thu, Oct 14 2010

    White Doves truely the angels .. makin us mangalorens proud.

    Good write up ... Rithesh

  • Aremar, Puttur

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Good and laudable job and help to the needy

  • Naveen Fernandes, Balmatta

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Great Work by the White Doves. May God grant you all the strength to continue this great work. Will visit the Homes soon. Corrin continue your good work God will give you the strength to do His work. Heard you were sick recently. Keep well our prayers are with you

  • Nitesh R.M, Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    This article is indeed Heart wrenching. Hats off to White Doves, hope many more organizations will step in and do something for the needy people.

  • Thomas Valder, Bahrain

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Thanks Ritesh & 'Daiji' for unearthing a hidden Jewel - C. Rasquinha. Mr. Balakrishna Shetty has rightly said, it is better we honor these social workers by inviting them to inaugurate Schools, temples etc. than inviting selfishly stinking politicians. May God bless Corine Rasquinha and White Dove team.

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    White Doves home at Mannagudda is one of the best destitute homes in Mangalore. All should forward their helping hand to this home of selfless volunteers.
    God bless them all.

  • joe, loretto (dhoa)

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    may god bless.corin aunty and her white doves team.

  • Melwin D'souza/Q8, M'lor/Milar

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Hi.. Corin this is God's plan an God's work, always God's with you and tak care of you and your team.Great job your doing our Mother bless you.keep It up.

  • Gregory, Ireland

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Great job, God bless,hats off, all these words and comments are very very good. but they dont complete the need. it is like someone who is working allday and in return he gets thank you very much, you did a great job, but sorry we cant pay you.all the nice saying of bible words and all the praise we give to the people who work so hard behind the people is a big job with great heart. but they need money and resources. so let us help little with money, so they will also feel happy along with our God who said do give in my name.

  • alwyn sequeira, kulshekar

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    a work that requires a lot of patience and the blessings of the lord, may god bless all of u associated in doing this good work and may he bless us and enlighten minds of all citizens to atleast do a little of such good work

  • Prema Monteiro, Qatar

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Awesome write-up Ritesh.... The aura you created for all us readers is that we lead very much better off life……which we don’t realize or appreciate most of the times.
    God bless Corine and team.

  • Judith L, Mumbai

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    White Doves is doing a highly commendable job. All should give their support by sparing some time and money so that such wonderful institutions which help poor and neglected exist.

  • Teju, Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 13 2010

    Great Job 'The White Doves...'All the best.

  • naazmangalore, jubail

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    No words to say.. keep it up dears.... well job ..god bless you


    Tue, Oct 12 2010


  • vp misquith, bejai mangalore

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    Dear Corine and team.....keep it up good work may god bless u all...

  • Tom Cat , Mangalore/ Saudi Arabia

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    The teaching of Jesus in practice

    Matthew 25: 35,36,40 says " I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me to drink a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me." " I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me!"

    May God Bless "White Doves".

  • callen dsouza, bendur/mangalore

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    may god bless the whole team.

  • Roopa Rego, Mangalore / Abu Dhabi

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    May God Bless Corine and her White Doves Team. Good writing Ritesh.

  • Arun D'Souza, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    Dear Corine and team.....keep it up good work may god bless u all...

  • Balakrishna Shetty, Yellur/Dubai

    Tue, Oct 12 2010

    Great job Corine, great job Ritesh. I wish we stopped worshipping the dirty politicians, religious leaders and film heroes. The people like Corine deserve much more than these crooks. It is time we start calling social workers like these to inagurate temples, schools and public utilities henceforth.

Leave a Comment

Title: White Doves: Reinstating Dignity in Street Dwellers

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.