Saturday, April 17, 2010

Orphaned by Naxals, kids living in despair

New Delhi: The fight over what should be the strategy to deal with the Naxal menace may take some time to take a decisive tilt in a particular direction. But for those who have lost everything in this mindless killing game, it will have little consequence.

About 150 children, orphaned by Naxalites, quietly live in a residential school in Dantewada, singing songs of peace and hope.

About 150 kids are living in a residential school in Dantewada, singing songs of peace and hope.

For six year-old Indu, her world came crashing down one year back at her home in Murliguda. Naxals attacked the house and killed both her parents. Because they suspected her father was a police informer. She now lives in a government school in the heart of South Bastar-Dantewara along with other children of her age.

"I was studying that day at my aunt's place I was taken home. My mother and father were killed by Naxalites," says Indu. She is not the only one who has no one to call her own after Naxalites killed her parents. About 150 children living in this school have the same story to tell. Naxalites killed their parents.

Manju, a class nine student now, lost her father. None of these children have anything to do with either the state or the Naxals. But they were caught in the crossfire and are paying the heaviest price. "They attacked my house. They burnt our house. They killed my father and burnt my house," says Manju.

Suresh was just six-year-old when terror struck him. "My father was killed by Naxals during broad day light. I was in school when he was killed. My uncle sent me here after that," says Suresh. It's the same story for Suba Rao. His mother was unable to make ends meet after Naxals killed his father and sent him to the school. "My father was killed by Naxals," says Suba.

These kids are encouraged to play so that they can forget what happened to their families. These prayers and songs are what make them stronger. But they still carry painful memories of how they used to sing in happier times.


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