Arjuna is studying in the 9th standard at Ramakrishna Vidyalaya School; he is a sweet and polite boy. At first glance he comes out as being shy, but the social workers have noticed an unusual introvertedness in him in the last 2 years.

Upon conducting a house visit, and speaking with the parents we were unable to learn anything usual. However, when the social worker began having several one-on-one sessions with the child, we learnt that Arjuna was having a tough time coping with an alcoholic father who drank away all earnings, beat his mother physically even in public spaces, and behaved very harshly with Arjuna as well. The little boy craved for love and support, and hated seeing his mother suffer; she was a cleaner in a hospital and ran the house with her meagre earnings.

Arjuna opened up: we learnt that his interest in studies had fallen, and he had performed very poorly during his quarterly exams. He was sad and unable to concentrate. The social workers encouraged him to speak about all his problems and not keep anything that weighed him down in his heart, they then urged him to be strong and focus only on his studies, since this would help him get a good job and come out of the economic situation their family was in.
Parallely, the social workers also had a talk with the parents and brought to their notice, the adverse effect their problems had on their child’s education. The father, although still a victim of severe alcoholism, is trying his best to not let this affect Arjuna’s studies. The mother assures us that things are getting better at home. Let us wish for the best.
Today Arjuna is doing much better, he scored very good marks in the half-yearly exams, and in fact he ranked second in his entire class for the mid-year exams. His beaming smile says it all, Arjuna is happy.
(name and photo changed to protect the identity of the child)