Satya’s father died prematurely when he was 21. Satya had done some illegal things and when his father found out he died of shock and stress. This brought shame on the family and in the middle of Satya studying to become an accountant. When this happened, the whole family fell apart.
Satya’s mother is an uneducated housewife and was only able to find work as a door-to-door saleswoman. Satya was taken out of school to try to support his two sisters. The shock of his middle class world falling apart was heavy, the family had to move from a big house to the local slum. Satya, trapped by shame, bad friends, grief and depression turned to gambling and alcohol to numb his pain. He started riding a cycle rickshaw to support his family, but most of it he spent on drink.
In conjunction with the work of another counsellor, we counselled Satya and were able to bring him round to the idea that his life was not completely lost. We encouraged him to go back to school, which he has since done. If he had not, it’s possible that within 10 or 15 years he would have drunk himself to death because of the sheer hopelessness of his life.
He is slowly giving up drinking (unfortunately there is no Alcoholics anonymous in Nagpur slums). There is now hope for Satya and his family. His two sisters have been able to find good jobs and his mother has also improved her situation. He continues to receive counselling and support.
* Names and photos may have been changed for privacy and safety reasons.