A Thorny Childhood

20-year old Rahul Gandhi was kidnapped from his hometown in Paneti near Aligarh, U.P. He was made to work as a laborer without wages. He was beaten brutally and the scar on his right hand bears testimony to his thorny childhood.

“I was beaten and made to wash huge amounts of children’s clothes. I escaped but was caught by the police who sent me to Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust”, he reveals. Rahul then, was employed into selling cotton candy at Marina Beach. He was at Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust for two years.

Rahul was a third grade student before he was kidnapped. He can write Hindi and Tamil. Rahul has fleeting memories of his childhood in Paneti but remembers his family fondly. He mentions his mother, a home maker and his father, a wheat grinder in a mill near their home. “I have two elder brothers and a sister. My elder brother recently got married, but I couldn’t make it”, he says ruefully. Rahul speaks to his folks occasionally over the phone.

“I would like to go back home for a visit”, he says, but hastens to add; “I like it here. Robinson (the supervisor, Chennai center) is my friend and it’s nice”.