Karnataka

When villagers pitch in to help hapless sisters

The minors have been living on their own in a dilapidated government building

For six months now, 16-year-old Rosy and her younger sister Sheela have been living by themselves in a partially-damaged government structure at Hettur in Sakleshpur taluk. There is no power, no front door, and rubble is strewn all over the floor. They lost their mother Prema about 10 years ago and their father, Chandru, a construction worker, is an alcoholic and visits them once in a blue moon.

He gives them some money occasionally but his visits are rare, say villagers, who are worried about the minors’ well-being. It is largely on the generosity of the locals that they survive. The sisters study at Karnataka Public School (KPS) at Hettur. While Rosy is in class 10, Sheela is a student of class 6.

Deelaksha Hettur, a resident of the village, told The Hindu that the sisters were earlier in an estate workers’ colony at Banahalli. “Then they came to Hettur. For a week, they stayed at the bus stand. And, later the villagers offered help so that they could stay in the abandoned quarters belonging to the Health Department,” he said.

The teachers have been helpful to the girls. Mallikarjun Sajjan, an assistant teacher at KPS, said: “Both study well. We offer help whenever they need it. However, they require a proper place to live.” Sheela has a heart-related problem and needs surgery. The school staff have raised some money for treatment. Rosy said that the family has a ration card but she could not use it as her father had not got his Aadhaar card. Unless his Aadhaar number is linked to the ration card, they cannot get foodgrain from the fair price shop.

“We want a house,” said Rosy. She does not want to move to a hostel as that would keep them away from their father. “We want to study and find jobs. My sister has to undergo surgery. We will continue our studies in the same school,” she said. The villagers have appealed to the taluk administration to help the sisters find a decent place to stay and study.

Girish Nandan, Assistant Commissioner of Sakleshpur sub-division, said the issue had come to his notice and he has instructed the officers of Women and Child Development Department to visit the place. “We are thinking of providing them hostel facility. However, we need their father’s consent to shift them to a hostel. Our officers will talk to their father and decide,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:33:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/when-villagers-pitch-in-to-help-hapless-sisters/article30090349.ece

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