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Vedanta Khushi : Story : "Debu" Still Cant Sleep Alone
Monday, 18 Mar, 2013

Bolangir is one of the poorest districts in Odisha. This story has been sent to Vedanta Khushi by Sharad Pattanayak a social worker who works in Bolangir.

"Debu" is a small girl of 5-6 years from Odisha from district Bolangir. Her parents work on daily-wage basis and the meals from hand to mouth. They some how managed to get work to run their daily meals but nothing beyond that.

Sharad Pattanayak has been in social field for almost 10 years. For creating awareness about immunization he travels from villages to villages. One day he heard cries of a small girl coming from a small hut locked from outside. He tried speaking to the child but the child could not respond as she was crying profusely. Sharad had no alternative but to call for help. The villagers gathered but could not calm down the child.

Ultimately, Sharad decided to break the door. The door was broken and the child came out running and crying. After giving some water, the child calmed down. She was holding Sharad tight and was saying "dont send me with uncle, I wont go, I want to live with you Babu".

After some consoling the child said her name as "Debu". What "Debu" narrated was terrible. "Debu" had heard her parents talking a night before about sending her to one of her uncle's place for working in the house, as they could not afford her anymore. "Debu" narrated how her mother was crying whole night and her Babu (father) never agreed to keep her any more. While her parents left her sleeping, the horrifying dream frightened her. "Debu" also spoke about the problem of daily meals in the family. She too slept some times empty stomach. She has been complaining her parents about the meals.


Sharad hugged her and took her to the nearby NGO who adopted her immediately and gave her a homely atmosphere. The NGO run by an old lady met Sharad after six months and said everything is fine Sharad with "Debu", but only thing is 'Debu still cant sleep alone'. She still has that fear in her mind that one day she would be sent to her uncle's place for doing house-hold work. Thus she sleeps with her every night and never leaves her alone.

As for parents of "Debu" they never came searching for her. "Debu" remembers her mother and cries some times but the old lady has given her enough love and care to cope up with the new surrounding.

"Debu" goes to school today and is learning Oriya as well as English.


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