ANDHRA PRADESH

SATHI helps slum children turn a new leaf

Suresh Krishnamoorthy

14-day de-addiction camp held

HYDERABAD: It was a day they would never forget. The youngsters enjoyed the attention despite the ‘bad’ habits they had kicked off. That was the scene at the community hall in Addagutta, the biggest slum in the twin cities.

It was the culmination of an initiative by SATHI, a voluntary organisation working with slum children. Absence of nutritious food and no access to education, they hung around in the ‘basti’.

They were all abusing alcohol, smoking and eating ‘gutka’, sniffing solutions like nail polish from bottles they picked up on the street and the ones used by typists as erasers, petrol too.

Led by A.V. Roopa Ramesh, Project Leader, the SATHI team comprising Navya, Fatima, Maruthi and Satish, undertook an elaborate exercise to identify such children in Addagutta.

Graduation ceremony

They took the children through a 14-day de-addiction and mainstreaming camp at Saddupally in Hayatnagar mandal in adjoining Ranga Reddy district between September 7 and 20. In what was a kind of graduation ceremony, they danced to a popular Telugu number from the megastar’s ‘Shankardada Zindabad’ and enacted a skit admitting their mistakes, promising not to repeat them and go to school.

Inspector of Police (Tukaram Gate) Uday Bhaskar Reddy, a Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader S. Yadagiri and Swami from the ‘basthi’ and a magician Chillara Sudhakar were present. Mr. Reddy announced that he would sponsor the education of one boy or girl up to Class X.

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