A Sneak-Peek at Pain

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In our familiar lives, there are some fortunate moments when we are so overwhelmed with someone else’s tale, someone else’s life, that we live the rest of ours differently. It happened with me, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

He is a young boy. In primary school. Let’s just call him “Elvin”. Elvin’s story goes back to when his mother married his father. I’ll try to make this is ‘third-person’ and as quick as possible, because I know how painful it can be otherwise.

Elvin’s mother married his father, and within weeks, was being beaten and tortured for dowry. Through this, she had three miscarriages, three. Then when Elvin was successfully delivered, her own parents brought the two of them to their house. But for how long? Within seven months, she was back under the whip and soon, she committed suicide. I wonder when they will agree it was murder.

Finally, the boy got neglected and when finally his father saw he had a son (Lo behold!), Elvin got all the attention in the world, specially when his father came home drunk. He went to school like a dismal child. And the father remarried. Worse, worse, worse….. the stepmother was exponential compared to the father. The least atrocity I can manage here is how she would kick him down the bed every morning for school…

Finally, Elvin’s mother’s brother filed for a custody battle at court. It has been on for months. And then he did something that just plunges the heart and tears it down to shreds. The uncle went to Elvin’s school and met with the in-charges. And submitting a case file and legal papers, he begged them not to give the child’s TC to the stepmother or father, in case they plan to take the child and go away.

The story henceforth is hazy, but a few days later, the stepmother did come for the TC and after some hassle and heated dialogue, took the boy away.The school could do nothing, such were the legal bindings. I know some people who watched it all happen, with sordid eyes.

One sentence Elvin’s uncle wrote in the case files haunts me, even when there is no connection…. “If the child is let go, and something happens to him; will the school take any responsibility?” Now…..should the school feel guilty?


15 thoughts on “A Sneak-Peek at Pain

    anjali said:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    LEGALLY the school cannot but give a TC when demanded by parents.
    yet, even without knowing for a fact, i feel sure,the school could have reported this case of constant abuse to some govt agency or NGO.

    or shall i say a school MUST report cases of child abuse to relevant agency.
    schools are being targeted for lifting a finger or use of harsh words with kids ( many a time justified and much needed),yet parental abuse goes unnoticed and unreported.why?

    other similar case of child abuse in media recently was of baby palak and numerous others.

    sad is but a word.

      Ruchika responded:
      April 21, 2012 at 7:30 AM

      They should, certainly, but how much a school can afford to interfere is all but their decision…many prefer to stay out of legal battles, but this one is human enough to help Elvin throughout..yet, how much they involve in his domestic condition will bind them directly to the lawsuit, something they have to be REALLY careful about. The verdict of the lawsuit will alter their reputation drastically… so only they can make a call….

    shivank tathagat said:
    April 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    such a painfull story it is!!

      Ruchika responded:
      April 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Does have a large impact on those you see it first-hand…

    pdham said:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I see.
    Any idea, what happened after?

    My only ”comment” will be that – we need to stop, really stop, looking the things from 3rd person point of view!

    I am sure.. you didn’t see it on the “TV” – because that is what exactly it does…. make one see things ”3rd person” only! And, looking here and there and making it ‘responsibility’ of ”school”, ”law”, or ”God” .. . come on, we don’t live alone in the society, we don’t!

    If this ”blog” has any value to add.. I’d like to ask.. to find out..what happened after? Just because that “Elvin” was not your brother / first cousin / class mate / next door neighbor . .or whatever to justify a positive action to ‘do something about it’ – I am finding it waste of intellect and any other skill and education which could not help any “Elvin”!

    Can we do something about it ?! I need to know.. because I am feeling the pain – 1st person!

      Ruchika responded:
      April 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Just the thoughts going on in MY mind, when I heard the tale first. Can you believe what all of us “educated” people involved in this case do after handing the martinet stepmother the TC? We all sat back and discussed the case with our families, I blogged… and sure, we felt bad. But what did we DO? Hold up the legalities, that’s all. And it’s not the fault of the school, that it didn’t do anything (weird statement, but true)…. there were so many ‘laws’ involved in the case at court that any action from the school would in all likelihood go against the good uncle… all the school could do, I figure, is help the child cope, which it did I am happy to note, the teachers took this effort sincerely, but that’s the limit. The school cannot follow-up after the TC. Report to an NGO? Possibly. But I don’t have information about this.

    pdham said:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    It seems that my last comment didn’t arrive here ?

      Ruchika responded:
      April 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Have been “off-line” for a while. All your comments require approval from me before they come online. Which I can assure you they WILL get until they become EXXXTREMELY hostile, something I don’t expect to happen. 🙂

    pdham said:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Ok, will you do nothing (except write a blog) about something happened that bothered you a bit – if that same thing happened to someone very near to you?

    So, I’d like to know what steps have you taken to actually find out… what happened with “Elvin” – may be I am pinching you a bit . . if you know the story. .. there is a way to find out the rest of the story.. and may be, we can save an “Elvin” and many more. . over to you Ruchika 🙂

      Ruchika responded:
      April 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      In this case, call this an excuse if it seems like one but, I couldn’t do anything because of my own relation with the person/connecting link between Elvin and me…. and a whole lot of similar things…. but I decided to find out how my OWN school would do if such a thing happened (as only then can I decide what I will need to be prepared for then, sply now that the law requires 25% seats to be reserved for Economically Weaker Sections mandatorarily). You’ll be (hopefully) glad to know that I have since been pestering the school counsellor and appropraite teachers to giving me information about such things, tying it with similar but less eventful cases from the school, and have still not stopped, as I am still not satisfied. It’s been pretty long for me, about a month, but I am horrified by such helplessness… and I really am trying to know.

    pdham said:
    April 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I see.

    Have you heard or read – “if you really want to do something, you’ll find a way, else, you’ll find an excuse”.

    I guess, you were not expecting such a response from a ‘lost Puneet uncle’, yet, that is my comment for today. 🙂

    I am glad for what you doing.. . yet, we need to save “Elvin”!

    And, I think, it is worth repeating – “if you really want to do something, you’ll find a way, else, you’ll find an excuse”

      Ruchika responded:
      April 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      Dear “lost” Puneet uncle,
      I really didn’t feel being questioned, if that’s what you mean. And yes, you have inspired me to it- I am going this instance to find out what happened to Elvin. After all, what are all those drama skills and all good for, if not working my way out in such important situations?!

      Signing off,

    pdham said:
    April 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Dear Ruchika,

    That’s my girl !!

    I am very very glad that you got the point and I am very very proud to part of your blog!

    And, if you need any help, in this regard or any other regard, let me know.

    As you know.. I am in South Africa, where Gandhi became Mahatma 🙂

    BBM : 28FB9565
    Whatsapp: +27735059832

      Ruchika responded:
      April 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      And now the sad part. I went and had a good discussion. The school doesn’t know anything about Elvin’s status now, they can’t do anything after the Tc.. but they did tell an NGO, but after that, they aren’t privy of anything the NGO does, or doesn’t…. In short, nothing’s happening.
      What do I do?

    Puneet Dhamija said:
    May 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Thanks for the update.

    Make a list of all possible ‘communication lines’ where Elvin could be communicating on. . facebook, twitter, etc are new ways of communicating. .. I am pretty sure.. . .he had some close friends or interests or hobbies that will keep him alive before something kills him completely, literally and otherwise.

    start making a list of possibilities. . any other actions you could take to save a soul!

    report back bravo !!

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