Read Vaibhav's Story

Samatol foundations work process has been praised by many people. The need for the foundation has also been recognised by the society. They do, however, question why children run away in the first place. We tell them, these children have experienced a lot of trauma at home. Additionally, the parents have to go through quite a few ordeals themselves and their problems are carried over to the next generation. Nobody, however, has critically looked at the education system.

Vaibhav ran away from home at 14 years of age from his home town of Nanded. His parents sent him to a good school and were willing to pay more than 2 lakhs for the child. Vaibhav also had an older brother who he was quite close with. His brother, at the time, was in a secret love affair with his one of his neighbours. Sometimes in order to communicate the pair would exchange love letters. This had to be done secretly, so Vaibhav was entrusted with the responsibility of delivery boy. Vaibhav was praised by his brother and was also paid. Hence he carried out his responsibility with pride, never opening the letters and promptly delivered the letters.

One day Vaibhav received news that his brother and girlfriend were to run away and get married. He was devastated. All those letters he had delivered had only built the relationship up till this point. Vaibhav felt directly responsible and did not know what to do. At such a young age, he could only think of running away. The plan was set, him and his friends were to run away to Hyderabad the next day.

The next morning came, but Vaibhav was the only one of his friends who came to the station. He waited for a long time but his friends did not show. Going home came to mind, but he did not know how he’d face his family when he went back. Running away was the only option. He saw a train coming and hopped on, unaware of where it was heading.

At CST, fortunately, our field staff were very vigilant. Vaibhav was aware of their presence and immediately ran away fearing harm. Finally, the workers managed to approach Vaibhav and with their skills calmed him down and gained his confidence. He was taken to the shelter and was offered a nice batch, new clothes and warm food, but he rejected them. His mind was still turbulent. Our workers tried to ask for his parents’ whereabouts but he refused to tell them. He reached a point where he threatened to commit suicide if his parents were informed of his whereabouts. He repeatedly threatened to commit suicide hereafter.

Education focuses us on how to pass exams or store knowledge. It does not teach children how to deal with difficult social situations or impart good values to them. Vaibhav’s parents may have paid lots for his education but he still was a victim to this system. Little thought is given to nurturing the mentality of these children and this is a truth which is unrecognised by society.

Additionally, the constant exposure to social media, advertisements and TV is corrupting the minds of young children. It creates a fantasy world which children want to live, but realistically, it is unobtainable. Also their values are taught through this medium, which means they may be taught wrong values.

Samatol Foundation works towards changing this attitude towards education. At our Manparvartan Camp we give a type of education which imparts these important values. We also counsel children as well as the parents. These meant the parents are aware of the dangers to their child and a greater family bond can be established.