Tiny Hands That Collected Funeral Wood Now Hold a Pencil
Witnessing a body burning on a funeral pyre can be quite a ghostly and traumatic experience for a child, but not for Prakash. The skinny nine-year-old sees such a sight almost every day, thanks to his home at a crematorium on the outskirts of Delhi.
No one in their sane mind would wish for the kind of life Prakash lives. His mother is mentally unstable and goes missing every now and then. The whereabouts of his father are not known.
Prakash lives at the cremation ground with the young priest in-charge and his family. The priest picked up Prakash from the streets a few years ago. For Prakash, life was not always cruel. His was a happy family once upon a time, comprising his mother, maternal grandmother, uncle and his wife. His mother used to work in godowns to support them. But things changed after his grandmother passed away. Prakash and his mother were mercilessly kicked out of the house.
Ask Prakash about any of this, and he gives no response. His silence could mean he was either too young to remember the cruelties meted out to his mother by his own family, or he fears talking about his life might make it more miserable. It’s hard to tell. He avoids eye contact, but if one takes a deep look at the tiny black eyes, one can see an innocent soul polluted by a troubled past, a new present and an uncertain future.
A few months ago, Bridge of Hope staff spotted Prakash collecting wood at the funeral ground. On hearing his tragic story, they brought him to the center, bathed him, gave him food and enrolled him in a government school nearby. Today, Prakash attends his classes regularly at Bridge of Hope and enjoys studying.
“I want to become a doctor when I grow up, and I want to take care of my mother,” Prakash says coyly. Prakash is a welcome addition to the Bridge of Hope family. Aimed at the holistic development of the child, every Bridge of Hope center identifies and transforms the lives of children. You can be a part of this endeavor by sponsoring a child.