Read Deepak's Story

For the camp Samarop (send-off ceremony), the responsibility of finding where some children’s homes are put on some karyakartas. One such child was Deepak.

It was quite difficult for me to find Deepak’s house. Many people told me not to go to that place, but I thought I have many years’ experience so ‘Let me have a go’. I arrived at his home town and walked along a lane near his house, I noticed something suspicious. People were following me. Instead of waiting for them to approach me, I took the lead and asked them if they knew anything about Deepak. Initially, nobody was ready to speak about Deepak, but eventually I was able to find the house.

Samatol had sent letters to the parent’s house, but coincidently the postman and I reached at the same time to deliver the same news. An older man opened the door. It was Deepak’s grandfather. Immediately I introduced myself and explained about Samatol Foundation. He looked at me funny when I mentioned about Deepak. Then when I explained he was in safe hands, he opened up.

He said that Deepak had been away from home for the last 2 years. His parents had passed away. Since then his grandparents had looked after him. He then explained that he was well known around these parts. I now understood why people were following me. This community had also struggled to find Deepak in the past.

Deepak’s grandad narrated key incidents in his family’s past. It shocked me to know that Deepak’s sister was kidnapped by their neighbour, and they are also searching for her. The atmosphere was heavy. He was in pain and anguish as they described their saddening state of affairs. I could not hold my tears back. I consoled him and then asked him them to come back to Mumbai to meet his son again. Without a second thought, he collected all the vital documents and came with me. He had been searching for so long and finally he had the chance to reunite with him.

Constantly throughout this process, he kept telling everyone; what the government could not do., Samatol has done. With all this praise and joy, I forgot about my meals that day!

Deepak's story

Deepak was found at CST by Samatol workers. He was not ready to tell us anything at the start and it took a lot of persuasion to get him to open up. He gave false information, stating that his grandmother often scolded him. Then he mentioned that his grandmother got so fed up that she asked him to leave. So he did.

We took him to the shelter but he was quite scared at first. We gave him a good bath, good food and good clothes. Following, a medical check-up we started asking him about his family.

Deepak’s parents used to stay in Aurangabad. He used to stay with his grandparents and study in Nashik. On one occasion when he was on vacation and visiting his parents, his brother stole 1000 rupees. At the time his parents thought that he had stolen the money. His mother scolded him and told him to bring it back. Deepak was furious and this triggered him to run away from this home. When he ran away the first time, an organisation called Amchikholi rescued him and sent him back to his grandparents. However, he thought his grandparents would scold him, so he ran away, again, but this time to CST.

Upon arrival at CST, he was picked up and sent to Dongri (Child Welfare Centre) and stayed there for 8 months. He hated the food at Dongri, so he ranaway again to CST. He was at CST for 4 days and worked as a rag picker. In this short time, he began smoking cigarettes and taking drugs. Fortunately, he came across a Samatol worker, who took him to the shelter.

Flash Forward

Tomorrow is the send-off ceremony at the camp. ‘In these camps we find children who have lost sight of their goals. They become rag pickers, are neglected, abused, or even shunned by society.  We also get all types of guardians, who will go through hurdle after hurdle to bring their child back home. This is what Samatol wants to showcase. Our society is based on the principle of family life. Deepak’s emotional story is shining example of a great family. There are no words to describe the efforts Deepak’s family has taken to return Deepak home. Samatol wants to encourage these values and we hope that everyone here will join efforts with Samatol to encourage this vital principle.’