Runaway Children is an autobiographical journey of S Hariharan, BPO owner, who ran away from his home as a 14-year-old. The story is delicately told and Hariharan has tactfully raised many questions which we conveniently brush under the carpet. He has questioned the wisdom of raising children with iron hand, without much thought given to their thinking pattern, emotions and what all trauma they face at different stages of their life. The memoir focuses on the trials and tribulations faced by him, when he ran away from home as a child, a common problem that plagues many cities in India.
The story is divided into eight parts and traces his journey from beginning till final trip. The author has also highlighted the plight of runaway children. Many of them sleep with empty or half-filled stomach. Apart from that they do not have much hope in life and are regularly exploited and bullied.
The book unearths a child’s state of mind through the tale of his endeavour, his pursuit of freedom and the journey of becoming a person. Sometimes grim, but mostly pleasing and essentially courageous, Runaway Children is an interesting read with an easy flowing narrative. The story beautifully unfolds without those heavy sermons or unnecessary preachings. While reading the book, at certain point of time, one feels like reaching out to the orphans and desolate kids.
The narration ends on a positive note where the author makes peace with his family. He not only finishes his higher studies but also ends up running a successful BPO firm with a turnover of few crores. This highlights the fact that the human spirit can survive against all odds. Having experienced a life on the streets himself, Hariharan has a better understanding of the needs of these children. The primary objective behind the book is to bring awareness of the life and times of these street children, how the society should take special care in educating them and enabling them to earn a living on their own.
Author: S Hariharan
Genre: Memoir/ Autobiography
Price: Rs 299
Text by Aarti Kapur Singh