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Updated: January 16, 2014 14:02 IST

New identities for a new life

P. Sujatha Varma
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Santhi and Prasanthi, the two girls who were picked up from Vijayawda railway station, at Nirbhaya home for orphans at Peddavaram of Nandigama mandal in Krishna district. Photo: V. Raju
The Hindu Santhi and Prasanthi, the two girls who were picked up from Vijayawda railway station, at Nirbhaya home for orphans at Peddavaram of Nandigama mandal in Krishna district. Photo: V. Raju

All of four years, Prasanthi loves to hold a sway on others. Quick in grasping whatever is taught in the classroom, she hurriedly gets down to her favourite amusement — having others repeat what is taught by the teacher, once the class is over.

With her half-tucked blue checks shirt teamed with a navy blue skirt exhibiting her devil-may-care attitude, the little one frolics around the sprawling campus of Nirbhaya home for orphan and semi-orphan kids near Peddavaram village under Nandigama mandal of Krishna district.

Within a few days of coming here, Prasanthi managed to get a hold of things around. “At this young age, she is very sharp and has the capacity to befriend anybody within no time,” says Vasireddy Krishna Murthy, founder of the home.

Prasanthi landed at this place a few months ago, along with another girl Santhi, a few years senior to her. Life was not hunky-dory for the two who were found begging at the Vijayawada railway station.

According to the railway police personnel, who handed over them to the Childline rescue home, the little girls were initiated into begging by their mothers who would come once in a few days to collect money from them.

The Childline volunteers produced the girls before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Krishna district, from where they were shifted to Nirbhaya home.

Immediately after landing at the home, the girls were given a tonsure and christened ‘Santhi’ and ‘Prasanthi’. “We wanted to give them a new identity since they are going to start a new life,” says Mr. Murthy.

“I remember the bad condition of the two girls when they were brought to the CWC. They shabby clothes, unkempt hair reflected their wretched living conditions. It is a practice to use children for begging by many parents. That’s precisely why we chose to hand over the kids to a home that is away from this place,” said Deeksha Meher, a CWC member.

At the home, the girls have gradually shed their inhibitions and are opening up to the new possibilities that seem much brighter and happier than what they have left behind.

“The girl has high potential to scale great heights on the ladder of success and we are here to give the thrust,” says Mr. Murthy.

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