Today, we placed Biki, a slum boy of 11 years old, into Don Bosco Ashalayam in Howrah. Biki, like Don Bosco in early years, does not have any formal education to date. We are hoping that the same success will happen to Biki as it did for Saint Don Bosco.
Biki comes from a family of three boys. He is the middle child. Biki only has a mother who works in a hospital cleaning for 1500 Rupees a month. He has no father in his life since the father left a long time ago and both his grandparents have passed away. The children and mother and an uncle live in a small 8 feet by 6 feet single room house next to the train tracks. During summer, it gets very hot inside since it is made of bamboo and scrap tin. And during the monsoon season, it is constantly filled with water.
We also tried to place Biki's little brother who is five, but the school said he is too small for boarding. For Biki's little brother, he will have to wait another year or two before it is possible to put him in boarding. Biki's older brother is 15 years old and there is no place to put him and so for him, his life is set and he will grow old in the slum of Kolkata doing odd jobs for 1500-2000 Rupees each month.
We placed Biki and many children like Biki whom for many reasons have never been to school to receive even the basic education into boarding school with the hope they can somehow follow the footsteps of Don Bosco and walk away from the slum and away from poverty.