Today I would like to introduce you to another boy of our school. His name is Gautam and his family is an example of Indian family loyalty and sense of responsibility: when Gautam’s parents died, his aunt and uncle took him and his four siblings in!
It was actually more of a bit-by-bit process: Gautam’s father discovered a boil under his arm which kept on growing while he was getting weaker and weaker. He finally went to see a doctor for it, got medicine but somehow this couldn’t stop his life strength to seemingly flow out of him until one morning, he just didn’t wake up anymore.
It was a catastrophe for Gautam’s mother, who didn’t know how to now support herself and her five children! The eldest boys, twenty and fifteen years old then, started working to make some money for buying food. But as this meant that the mother was alone at home with the two daughters and the little boy Gautam, they didn’t think it was safe. She moved to her brother and his family with the kids.
And then she started feeling weak herself. Upon searching, they found a boil on her head as well and within a few months, she passed away.
That left Gautam and his four siblings with his uncle and aunt. As they themselves already have three children, they were looking for ways to alleviate the situation a bit. Gautam’s eldest brother moved out, finding different jobs and now works in Kerala. His eldest sister and second brother stayed with him at his uncle’s and his second sister moved in with another aunt where she is now living permanently.
So it is six kids now that Gautam’s uncle has to feed, clothe and raise. He is supported by his father, who, like him, works at Vrindavan’s main vegetable market, selling vegetables for a bigger farmer. Gautam’s grandmother also contributes to the family income: she sells tea in a chai shop.
Together, they rent two rooms in a complex of several renting families. Of course that does not provide them with a lot of space – but it is enough for them to be happy to be together!