In a world where social media is exploited to spread hate and fake news while dividing opinions and breaking friendships, a viral video highlighting the plight of two orphans has given them a new lease of life after the video surfaced on the Facebook Wall of a police officer in Mysuru.
A journalist in HD Kote Taluk produced the video. It showed two sisters, aged 17 and 14, living in Shiramahalli village – about 60 km from Mysuru. The sisters spoke about their plight, and the video urged help for the siblings.
“The video showed a dilapidated house with no electricity, water or basic amenities like a toilet. The siblings were in the worst shape and had no one to take care of them,” said S Doreswamy, assistant sub-inspector associated with the HD Kote police station.
Doreswamy said the video also explained that the sisters lost their parents and grandmother. “The parents were lost during their childhood, and a grandmother mainly raised them. However, owing to illness and poverty, the grandmother passed away in 2012,” he added.
The most disturbing fact for the cop was that the teenage girls had no other relatives. There was no food to eat, and they depended on the mercy of the villagers for survival. Conditions worsened for the duo when the Covid-19 lockdown hit, making it difficult for them to manage meals for the day.
“I watched the video in April and decided to visit the house. The mud house was in dilapidated condition posing issues to safety. There was no bed or mattress. The electricity supply had been cut off, and no toilets existed inside the house,” the officer told The Better India.
Doreswamy’s son Manjunath and wife Chandrika also accompanied him during the visit. “My father was deeply moved to see the condition, and we felt bad,” said Manjunath. His father immediately provided ration and groceries for the sisters.
“The next step he took was to rebuild the house with concrete and surround it by a protection wall. A toilet was constructed along with a new bed. Mattresses, utensils, a fan and television were bought. A new set of clothes were also provided,” Manjunath, a commerce graduate, said. Manjunath said his father spent over Rs 3 Lakh for these donations.
On October 23, Doreswamy’s family organised a small house warming for the renovated structure, and a Dharmasthala trust has also come forward to pay Rs 1,500 a month to the sisters.
Beyond providing for the daily needs, the officer adopted guardianship of the siblings and enrolled the elder in a private school to continue her education. “A smartphone has also been given to her, for online classes,” he added.
Doreswamy said that he was deeply affected by the conditions of the sisters and decided to do everything he could. “Everyone has a right to live a decent life, and we should help people, reduce the burden on their shoulders. I have decided to take care of their education and living expenses,” he added.
Jyothi said the guardian police officer is doing more for them than their father had done. “We get ration regularly and have proper clothes and bed,” she adds.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)