In Bengaluru’s Shivajinagar area, lies the BBMP Boys High School in Tasker Town. One can’t help but be impressed by the cleanliness maintained at the school and the cooperative attitude of the school staff. Among the Class 8 boys is Steven H, originally from Yadgir district – the ‘Dal Bowl’ of Karnataka. This young man came to Bengaluru three years ago and wishes to help people and society by becoming a lawyer.
Steven’s inspiration to become a lawyer comes from the 1989 Kannada movie Yuddha Kanda, featuring regional superstar Ravichandran. “I want to help people as a lawyer – those wrongfully convicted, those that aren’t helped by the police – I wish to fight for them in court,” he says. He also wishes to better the conditions in his hometown of Yadgir, through legal routes. “My village gets flooded often. I will get help from the Government to improve the infrastructure there,” he adds.
Steven’s father is an Uber cab driver and his mother works in an office as housekeeping staff. He has an older and a younger brother. His parents live in Bengaluru’s Whitefield area, which is at quite a distance from his school. He lives in the Samaja Kalyan Ilake Hostel in Kodandarama Nagar near his school. His parents come to meet him twice a week and he goes home for extended holidays.
Steven’s seriousness about wanting to be a lawyer is evident in the subjects he takes the most interest in. “I focus on the Social Sciences. I like Civics, Politics and I stay up-to-date on current events by reading newspapers and watching the news on television,” he states. What makes a good lawyer, according to him? “You need to have a good heart and mind,” he says, adding, “No matter how complicated a case, one should argue it successfully and win.”
Speaking about Akshaya Patra’s meals, Steven expresses enjoying the meals and has some very amusing feedback: “I like the rice particularly. Every grain is separate; they don’t stick together!” His favourite dishes are the Bisibele Bath and Puliyogare and he often take second helpings. “We also get bananas sometimes, which is nice,” he adds.
Now as schools remain closed, children like Steven have lost out on the nutritious and fortified midday meal at school. To continue to support the Foundation’s 1.8 million beneficiaries, the Happiness Kit initiative has been launched, where kits are distributed to government school children, with each containing dry rations, educational materials, stationery and a hygiene pack.
Akshaya Patra shares stories of beneficiaries through our COVID-19 Relief Efforts, as well as of our Mid-Day Programme to show you how a small act of generosity can impact and change somebody’s life.