We met Golu in 2014 when she lived in the Harijan/Dalit community – a slum near Chaukaghat Railway Station, Varanasi. From a tender age Golu had been a drug addict. When Rajan Kaur Saini, founder of Buddha’s Smile School and her teachers visited that community they always found her in possession of the same form of drugs, which she would hide in her underwear. The drugs were locally made from of chewing tobacco, derivatives of opium and alcohol.
In addition to her serious addiction, her parents were not caring for her so Rajan decided she should be brought to BSS and persuaded her highly reluctant parents to let her attend.
With a lot of love and motivation Golu began to withdraw from her addictions and resume a more normal life of a child; learning and playing, combined with love and regular food — which are very important basics for children from these types of communities.
Unfortunately, Golu and her family were recently forced leave their Varanasi settlement by the Police and move 60 km away. They are hoping to be able to return as they have jobs as day labourers in Varanasi.
Right now Golu is with her family and no longer attends Buddha’s Smile School. When we last saw her she was no longer an addict. Golu is 7 years old.