By Our Correspondent | Opening Doorz Editorial | April 30, 2018
To give back to this lovely institution of Shelter Don Bosco, Shahul hopes to enrol the children from Shelter into a few training programmes at Kotak. He says that he likes to train the youth in skills he has become aware of, such as proper English speaking, and personal hygiene and grooming that enhance their employment opportunity.
—Shahul Hamid was separated from his mother, 20 years ago, at age 5.
Name: Shahul Hamid
Place of birth: Bangalore
With the centre from: 2003-2008
Family background: Cannot recall
Shahul works as a trainee coordinator at the Kotak Education Foundation in Deonar, Mumbai, where he helps dropouts develop vocational skills and then places them in suitable jobs. He has also created Self-Help Groups (SHG) to encourage the youth to pursue their academics and career.
Shahul’s parents fought constantly. Fed up of the physical abuse at home, his mother decided to move to Delhi from Bangalore. He was just five years old at that time. Unfortunately, during the train journey to Delhi, Shahul got separated from his mother. In a new city, with nothing familiar in sight, he started crying and was taken in by a hotel owner who promised to look for his mother. However, Shahul was treated badly by the hotelier’s wife and he was eventually sent to a government-run shelter.
Shahul made friends with another boy, Faisal, with whom he constantly kept escaping from the shelter only to go back. After spending seven years at the government-run shelter, Faisal and Shahul decided to run away from Delhi for good. Shahul was 12 years old now and getting restless. The two friends boarded a train not aware of where it was headed to.
After a lot of train-hopping they reached Rajasthan and spent around 20 days in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Another train ride brought them to Mumbai—the city of dreams. Little did Shahul know then that his life would take a turn for the best! As they wandered on the streets of Mumbai, they were spotted by a staff member from Shelter Don Bosco who regularly visited stations and foot-over bridges to look for lost boys. Shahul gave this new ‘shelter’ a chance, but his friend Faisal made the decision not to and went his way.
Working towards transformation…
At Shelter Don Bosco, life took on a different meaning. There were Priests who took care of him and dedicated staff that looked after all his needs. Medically too, he was taken care of whenever needed. The boy found his calling in education: Shahul not only completed his graduation but also went on to complete his M.A. from the Aziz Premji University in Bangalore!
Saying thank you…
Shahul credits Shelter Don Bosco for every positive change in his life. He is grateful for the love and care provided by Shelter. He has forgotten his past pain only because the staff at Shelter helped him to. He also fondly remembers all the other boys who were with him in this journey of his.
To give back to this lovely institution, Shahul hopes to enrol the children from Shelter Don Bosco into a few training programmes at Kotak. He says that he likes to train the youth in skills he has become aware of, such as proper English speaking, and personal hygiene and grooming that enhance their employment opportunity.
On the personal front, however, his search for his mother continues. He has made several attempts but has not yet been successful, However, he is hopeful that someday he will be reunited with his family.
(From the book Forever Grateful to Don Bosco: Success Stories of the Young at Risk)