Monday, August 30, 2010

The pain of betrayal...

Not sure if I should I write at all...there is a deep pain in me but more than that a fear of being misunderstood.
For the past 15 days I have been plagued with threatening and obscene calls. Things went bad to worst when I realized that this person was also stalking me as he would comment on my exact location every time he called. All the calls were made from coin boxes. That was it, I decided things had gone too far,unlike so many other threatening calls that I get everyday which I happily ignore mostly because I can empathize with their frustrations and sometimes also because I sense the grudging respect they have for my work, but this was point blank derogatory and had nothing to do with my work but something to do with my person.

I lodged a police complaint. As my life is under constant threat the police took the complaint very seriously. A manhunt in earnest began.The situation was challenging as all the calls made were from different telephone booths that too from coin boxes. Finally they identified the person and the house he was living but were not able to nab him as the house was locked for 10days. Apparently this character hails from Guntur he already has a wife and two kids whom he has left and is now living with a woman in Hyderabad.

Then one evening my colleague who manages my shelter program was reporting to me about a girl whom we had rescued 7 yrs back and was in advance stages of AIDS and had been just discharged from the care and support center where I had admitted her 10 days back. This girl came to me in advance stages of HIV more or less as a discarded being in of our rescues 7yrs back. We had taken care of her, restored her life and ensured that she was gainfully employed. After staying in my shelter for 3 yrs she had rented a room outside and was working in my organization. We also knew that she had a boyfriend. 10days back when we came to know that she was very sick I had insisted that she should be hospitalized.
As we were talking I get another call on my other phone that this girl's boyfriend has been arrested by the police. I cautioned my staff who called me not get involved till we are not fully aware of the facts of the matter.
In half an hour's time the police called me and reported that my stalker has been arrested and it turns out to be this girl's boyfriend. I was shocked to say the least but imagine my pain when I came to know that the girl was equally involved in this whole endeavor.
I am not able to still understand the motive behind all this...I think the girl is acting under the spell of stockholm's syndrome...
She was a paid a decent salary(Rs 6,000), her health needs were taken care...what more was expected of me?
I do not want the world to think that all victims behave like this...and that is why I am scared to share. Lest people form further judgements about these victims.
But I still have not come in terms with the pain I am going through...only one question haunts me why?
The man is in the jail...I ensured that the girl still has her job( she is sick and needs support). My team does not feel good about my so called 'forgiving attitude'.But I cannot forget that she is dying...

Monday, August 9, 2010


Last week I was talking to a friend on how we Indians are more comfortable donating to temples than to real issues and causes. Every time we go around "begging" for financial support we have to answer a million questions regarding whether it will reach the beneficiary or it will be spent...can they actually see the results? All questions justified and I personally feel we are accountable and responsible for every pie we collect and we should jolly well make sure that it benefits the right person.

But what bugs me is the fact that the same persons will close their eyes(practically) and donate huge amounts of money ( sometime billions) in a temple or a church or a mosque's 'hundi'( the money collection box). Do they ever ask whether God will receive it or not (it is meant to be given to him/her right)? Why would somebody who is already owning the world...creating it...protecting it and is supposed to be showering prosperity to everybody need any further donation. In fact he/she is supposed to be so wealthy that he/she can look after billions living on the earth.

Why do we think a million times over to support or help a fellow human being...analyzing how much tax exemption...and most importantly should I at all? And all those analyses just vanishes into thin air if Gods & Goddess come into picture.
Lets keep monetary contributions aside. Lets look at voluntary work. Why don't we allow our 10 or 12 yr old child to do voluntary work for a cause...(but all of ensure our children our God fearing and drag them to all temples...mosques...churches)
Why is it that in most Indian civil society organizations we find more foreign volunteers(sometimes even NRI's) but hardly any Indians living in India? In fact in my own organization I get at least 150 requests a month to work as volunteers out which 145 will be foreigners and hardly 5 Indians.

Today in the old city of Hyderabad everybody is celebrating "Bonalu"...a festival of the Mother Goddess...
I see millions of rupees being spent for pujas(prayers in temples) take huge processions on the road...the band...the music...the fireworks...the fanfare.
I also see the hungry & starving children...the illiterate population...the community living below poverty line...the shack holes in unhygienic slums...the pathetic potholes on the roads...the pain of broken souls...COULDN'T THEY SPEND THE MILLIONS HERE?