Morning Star, home for homeless bullied by quarry owners

 

Thirteen year old Francis was found in a urinal in Majestic, eating his own flesh. He is mentally challenged and abandoned. His

 hunger drove him to eat his own flesh. He put his wrists to his mouth and chewed then. John Kennedy saw this child and embraced him. He brought him to ‘Morning Star,’ a home he runs for abandoned children. He has 55 children in the house, of which 20 children are mentally challenged.

 

A quarry which is just 200 meters from the home, has made life difficult for these children. The noise from the quarry scars the challenged children, who scream and have sleepless nights. It affects them so much that one among them Krishna passed away a few days ago. “He hated the noise, and would scream. One day after he heard a blast, he gave a loud shriek and fell on the ground. I took him to the hospital, but he passed away the next day,” said John. The impact of the blasts has also left cracks in the house.

 

When John’s repeated visits to the mines and geology department yielded no results, he filed a case in the civil court. The blasts stopped three weeks ago, but not the problems. The quarry owner Bachegowda cut the water pipeline of the house. For two weeks, John had to buy water from private suppliers. “We need 4,000 litres of water only for the challenged children. They pass out wastes wherever they are. So we need water to keep them clean,” he said.

 

John filed a complaint in Devanahalli police station, but the pipelines remained broken.

Two days ago the children of the home themselves fixed the pipeline. But John has been getting threats to his life. The quarry owners also tried to force him to sign on papers stating that the quarry poses no problems.

 

The hearing of the case was on Thursday, and is now adjourned to February 19. But when John was near a Photostat shop in the court premises, the quarry owners snatched the documents in his hand and tore them. Luckily he had another copy of them.

 

John found his first child on the roadside 19 years ago. The child is now 24 years old and is a pharmacist. He brought him in a one room house, and from then on there was no looking back. He picked up kids from dustbins, railway tracks, urinals and roads.

 

His latest child is eight year old Philip. He sits in a pram, and his physical and mental growth is that of a one year old. This challenged child was found abandoned on the road side. “He was stinking and I thought he would die in my arms, but by God’s grace, there is a lot of improvement now.” Another child like Philip, Joseph was found laid on the railway track. Joseph can now sit on a chair. Both these children cannot stand the sound of the quarry. “They can’t even stand thundering and rain. The quarry noise, makes them yell and cry.”

 

Thirteen year old Tata Sumo looks like a three year old. He has a hole in his heart. John found him laid on a railway track. Murali was also found on the railway track. But his stomach was cut open. John not only saved his life, but also gave a new life. Arul was found eating cow dung on MG road.

 

John has been helping the needy from a very young age. When he was a student at St Joseph’s College, he used to collect the clothes of beggars on weekends and wash them at the hostel. He then founded ‘Morning Star.’ It is located in Chalagatti, near Yelahanka in Bamgalore.

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