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‘Cyber’ Sunita at Street Smart

Sunita is about 10 and a half. No one knows for sure; her parents died when she was around 4. She and her brother Raj Kumar lived with their aunt and uncle until they ran away from abuse. They were living in the corridors of Astley Hall. She started sniffing glue when she was 8.

By 9 when we found her, she was emaciated, stoned and having sex for a fix. It’s now been a year and a half since she’s been with the Street Smart program. It’s not been an easy road to recovery and we take every day, one day at a time, but she is winning. In January of this year she took a turn for the worse and we were desperate to remove her from the influences of street life.

A close friend of Street Smart offered to take her to Kovalam for 2 months of ‘rehab’. They lived in an Ayurvedic village where she ate slept, and swam daily. A different Sunita came back, strong and healthy.

She is loving and shy and eager to please… and stubborn! Teaching Sunita the basics of literacy has been an uphill struggle. Her ability to retain anything has been severely impaired by years of early drug abuse. And then, a small miracle happened, she saw a computer, sat at it, touched the keyboard and was hooked. Street Smart was donated a computer room in which she now studies and ‘paints’ for two hours a day. We are working towards combining computer literacy with basic literacy.

Raj Kumar and Sunita are no longer living on the street. They live on the premises of a trust aided residential school, sponsored by Street Smart, where he works part time in the evening helping to cook the evening meal for the children of the school.

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