The story of Vasu – a child victim of drug abuse
Vasu is a 10-year-old semi orphan who lost his father, Gangadharan, to illicit drug abuse. Back in 2017, Gangadharan, used to be a taxi driver who also dealt with Cannabis on the side. Like most drug addicts, he always argued that his addiction to these drugs was nothing but good for his health, because apparently, his favorite God Shiva is also a ganja-smoker.
One night, Gangadharan was on his way home. He approached a crossroads unaware of the red signal and was hit by a truck from the side. After the police investigation, it was revealed that he was under the influence and with no insurance coverage, his family was left to struggle to make ends meet all on its own. His daughter (14), son (7), and wife were not only devastated by this loss, they were also poverty-stricken. Neither his friends nor Lord Shiva came to the family’s rescue. Gangadharan had married Ponnamma despite their caste differences and thus, had been shunned by the family. This made life pretty challenging for Ponnamma. She had no relatives or friends to get any support from in those distressful times. Ponnamma had to work hard to feed her kids. She started as a wage worker in the construction sector. As it was not a sufficient source of income, her children had to drop out of school.
In 2018, SHAPE identified Vasu and extended the child services to help Vasu and his sister. Now, they have resumed schooling and Ponnamma is being trained in fashion designing at one of our WoCTADs. We have high hopes for this family which was destroyed overnight by substance abuse.
We pray for all the Gangadharans out there who need help. We pray to see a world capable of being happy without drugs.