From the streets to tea plantation manager

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Lakhi came to Future Hope just over 20 years ago. His mother separated from her husband and left for another part of India when he was very young. His father worked long hours as a caretaker, slept where he worked and struggled to scrape a meagre living.

Lakhi and his father lived in a slum around the corner from our first Future Hope home. Whilst his father was at work Lakhi loitered on the streets. He met some of the Future Hope children whilst they were playing cricket in a local park. He made friends and joined in their game.

A bright youngster and desperate to go to school, Lakhi asked if he could come to Future Hope. Initially he was a day boy and he started his education at the roof top shelter in Park Circus which provided a home and an informal school for the first Future Hope children. Lakhi settled in well and learned fast. He was soon able to join a regular school and gained a place in Apeejay English Medium School on Park Street. By now Lakhi had become a full time Future Hope boy and was staying in one of our homes where he received the security and support he needed to be able to cope with a regular education.

Over the years Lakhi developed into a stable young man, who loved his sports and who dreamed of working in the tea gardens after having a holiday placement there. Lakhi represented India in several rugby tournaments at U19 level. He co-captained the first U19 team to play in Pakistan. He also captained our victorious Future Hope Harlequins Club Team in the Calcutta Cup in 2009. Lakhi completed a B-com degree from St Xavier's College, Calcutta University followed by a Diploma in Tea Management from North Bengal University.

He is now enjoying his first posting as an assistant manager on a tea estate in Assam; he is part of a vibrant hard working team, who often start work at 3 am. We spent a night with him in his beautiful bungalow and were so proud to see that his dream has really come true!

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