How early we corrupt our children

Govindraj’s son Sam has joined a boarding school in Shevaroypet, some 40 km from here, starting this June. He is about 10 years old. This is a Christian school, so everything is free for Sam, since Govindraj is a Christian: education, clothes, books, food. (There are Hindu versions of such schools where everything is free for Hindus (and these Tribals are incorporated into the great Hindu fold by default))

One day, when I was away, Govindraj dropped by and told Sonati this story:
All the new children had to write a short essay on themselves which would be sent to the Sponsoring Agencies (abroad). Well, Sam (who becomes Shyam when he needs a “community certificate” which the local authorities have decreed, off their own bat, will not be issued to Christians (i.e. those with Christian sounding names: How else can you distinguish between Christian and Hindu?); but I digress), who is a bright and happy kid wrote that his family comprising his parents, sister and brother have fields of Rice and Sugar-cane; they eat home-grown and not Ration rice. They have cows, goats, hens. His father has a bike and two cell phones. Their house has a tiled roof (not a thatch roof). Their annual earnings from the land are about 2 lakh rupees. In short All is well.

The school authorities called Govindraj and said that if this essay were sent to the sponsors, Sam would lose his sponsorship, and would have to pay fees (amounting to about Rs. 60,000 a year, which Govindraj can ill afford). Govindraj got into a flap and talked to the Pastor there; the local pastor vouched for the fact that he is “poor”; but Sam had to rewrite his essay:

They eat home-grown rice since they cannot afford to buy rice from a shop. They have only 2 cows, 3 goats and 6 hens. The bike and cell phones are not mentioned. The house has a tiled roof; not a concrete one. The earnings from the land after paying for labour, inputs like fertilizer, hire of tractor etc. comes to about Rs. 6000 a month and his father has two other children to support.

Both versions of the essay are true; but imagine what the rewriting would have done to Sam’s world-view. I really felt weepy when Sonati told me this story.


7 Responses to “How early we corrupt our children”

  1. porcupyn Says:

    Does not sound good. But that, unfortunately, is the real world.

    BTW, the roof is tiled or concrete. How can it be both? 😉

  2. porcupyn Says:

    Please ignore the second part of the above comment. I needed to re-read the post!!

  3. Sanjay Maharishi Says:

    Thanks for sharing this story.. but what a sad state of affairs.. really.

  4. manju Says:

    Its sad. Unfortunately, in most sponsorship cases only sob stories seem to sell.

  5. Sandhya Prabhu Says:

    Disgusting…..I sometimes feel that these guys are responsible for thwarting the youth….and then complain that the present generation is not responsible….

  6. பொய் பேச பயிற்சி! | என்றும் இனியவை Says:

    […] translated from the article கோவிந்தராஜின் பத்து வயது மகன் ஸாம், […]

  7. சின்னஞ்சிறு வயதில் எனக்கோர். . . | உள்ளும் புறமும் Says:

    […] translated from the article கோவிந்தராஜின் பத்து வயது மகன் ஸாம், […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s