When the Policeman Found 9-year-old Sunreet she was in a Tough Spot!

She was terrified! Residents had accused her of being a thief. She was disheveled, attired in tattered clothing, barefoot, and had a rough look about her. Her fear silenced her.

As she underwent extensive questioning she still did not speak. The policeman, knowing about Mukti Mission, considered approaching the Mission to keep her under protection as they conducted further investigations.

Sunreet maintained a stony silence as she was sheltered at Mukti and didn’t respond to any of the efforts made towards her. When food was placed on the table, she gobbled up a large portion and then continued with the silence. Looking at her poor condition, the caregivers at Mukti feared that she must have gone through unspeakable trauma.

Suddenly, there was a tiny, almost inaudible voice and everybody in the room turned to Sunreet in amazement! There was a swift cheer that overwhelmed Sunreet, but gradually she started speaking in a foreign dialect which none of the people present could understand. With elevated hope, different staff members at Mukti, hailing from diverse parts of India were frantically requested to come and try out their dialects on Sunreet. Many tried and failed to connect.

Until finally one visiting staff from a far region spoke to Sunreet. Can you imagine the joy for Sunreet when she heard a staff speaking in her dialect?

Explaining her plight with sorrow, Sunreet narrated that she does not know where she comes from and that she belonged to an extremely poor family comprising her parents and siblings who lived in an old broken-down hut. Her father was addicted to alcohol and would repeatedly abuse her mother and the family. Emotionally and physically battered, her mother started running away after another horrific scene at home. A confused and frightened Sunreet started pursuing her mother, who wasn’t paying heed to her daughter’s cry. From a distance, she saw her mother enter the train station and Sunreet followed suit with a heart that was beating violently. With tears, Sunreet called out to her mother who was no-where in sight. The thought of losing her mother rattled Sunreet and she hopped onto a train. She moved from one end of the train to the other, sobbing bitterly and asking the passengers to find her mother. But no one regarded the pleas of a frightened little girl. She boarded three to four more trains aimlessly as she sought out her mother. Each train took her farther and farther from home.

When Sunreet first met her Flower Family of 18 girls at Mukti, she was terrified and distanced herself for a month. Mukti had to start from scratch as Sunreet has never received any form of education back home. The language differences were the greatest barrier in acclimating to life and education at the Mission. She was admitted to the 1st grade of the Marathi Education School and has become a thriving member of the Mukti family.

She’s amazed at how non-violent the Mission environment is compared to her own home and family. She’s very obedient, timid and a hard worker. Sunreet has gained confidence in a very short time and has already learned Marathi to a great extent. It proves that she’s very intelligent and God has the most amazing plan for her which no human mind can perceive. She’s frustrated at the pace of her learning in school and has to be constantly comforted.

There are moments where she reveals her naughty side by conversing with the other girls in her native language and laughing hysterically at the bewilderment on their faces.

She misses her mother and siblings and she wants her mother and siblings to live at Mukti with her. While the police have been unsuccessful in locating her family, Sunreet has an undying hope of finding them.

*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.

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