Meet Mukesh Diggi (name changed), a 12-year-old lad native to the Jalimunda Sahi, Patia Bhubaneswar. Unlike other kids of his age, Mukesh didn’t have a naïve childhood full of great memories and giggles but a dismal one shrouded with extreme poverty, grief and substance abuse. Having lost his biological mother from a very tender age, left with a drunkard father and unaffectionate step-mother, he found himself addicted to harmful substances like gutka, handia (local alcohol) and dendrite. He never received any kind of formal education due to lack of proper guidance, institution and financial aid. Though there was one Christian Missionary School in the locality, it got shut down after the Phailin cyclone due to some legal and documentation issues. Whatever little the father earned, he squandered it to refill his alcohol stock. So there was hardly any penny left to feed the family of 7, including his 4 siblings. This precarious state leading to starvation forced him to take up the seemingly easier way of intoxication that would numb the sensation of hunger for days together.
When the SOCH team approached this boy for the first time, he was reluctant to join the 3-week’s de addiction camp, but with daily follow-ups and counselling he gradually complied. On the 7th of September, 2019, Mukesh joined the de addiction camp for 3 weeks that was organized by SOCH. In the camp, he was successfully de-addicted and then the next crucial step was to secure him proper formal education. But, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything came to a temporary halt. Hence, the camp, of which he was about to be a part to get education, was delayed for about a year.
Now, after easing of the lockdown restrictions, Mukesh has become a part of the ongoing 3 months camp where he is showing promising performance. He is even interested in continuing his studies after the conclusion of the camp. The SOCH team has planned to get him enrolled into the Nandankanan Nodal High School which is around 5-6 kms from his locality.
To pursue further education and to live a normal and happy life like the other children of his age, Mukesh requires financial aid to support his transportation, tuition and nutritional needs. We call for your support to help Mukesh realise his dreams.
Follow Up : After completing camp, they all .are in their home & can’t study or continue tuition due to second wave of COVID-19.