NAGAPATTINAM: A highly superstitious woman in Nagapattinam district stopped her 13-year-old son from going to school since August on the advice of an astrologer. While many kids cannot go to school on grounds of poverty or illness, it is unheard of for a mother to act on an astrologer’s advice and stop her child from attending school. Childline officials were shocked on hearing about it.
All was well with Sivaneshkumar, a Class IX student of Government High School in Kothangudi of Thirukkuvalai taluk until his mother Selvi met an astrologer. He apparently told the woman that the boy’s life would be under threat if he went out of the house alone, prompting her to take the decision. Sivanesh, who is keenly interested in studies, managed to call Childline officials on the toll-free number ‘1098’ on Friday. Officials came to the rescue and helped the boy attend school again.
Speaking to Express, R Manivannan, member, Childline, Nagapattinam, said, “The boy called us complaining that his mother was not allowing him to attend school. We were shocked to know that the mother did this as on the advice of an astrologer.”
Sivanesh said, “I did not know what to do when my mother suddenly stopped me from going to school. While my friends’ parents are sending their children to school, my mother instructed me to stay away. I was worried about my future and whenever I requested my mother to allow me to go to school, she used to say that I can write the SSLC examination privately next year.”
He added, “My mother is a farm labourer. My ambition is to finish studies and get a good job to help my family. I called Childline and they came to my rescue.” It is to be noted that though the mother did not allow Sivanesh to attend school, she permitted her elder daughter to do so in another school in Thirukkuvalai, where she studies in Class XII.
Krishnakumar, project director, Childline, said, “When we received the call, we sent our members led by Jothi Lakshmi to the boy’s house. We came to know that Selvi has been taking care of the two children as her husband abandoned the family many years ago. As a result, she is completely attached to her kids.”
He added, “Our members have given counselling to the mother for the past two days. We explained to her the importance of education for her children. She finally agreed to send her son back to school again.” The school headmaster, after finding out the reasons for the long absence allowed Sivanesh to attend classes again from Monday.