miss my family,
but I know
I am better off here"
Romeo Mendonca, aka Aman, is the badminton
and football champ of Dreamz Home, Smile Foundation’s rehabilitation
cum recreational centre for the children in Mumbai, which is run
in association with Social Development Centre.
Romeo had been brought to Dreamz Home in 2003
when he was found begging at a traffic signal. Romeo’s father
is an alcoholic and also a drug addict. He is unemployed and Romeo’s
mother Christina, used to earn whatever little she could, for the
family. But that was until she was alive. After she passed away,
Romeo was forced to quit school. He was forced to take up odd jobs
so he could at least get one square meal in a day. He even started
begging to earn as much as he could. To add to the miseries, Romeo’s
father even let go off their home, for money for his drugs and alcohol,
leaving the young boy homeless. Thus, along with begging on the
streets, Romeo started living on the streets too.
He was then brought to Dreamz Home, a temporary accommodation to
exploited, run-away and destitute children who land up in Mumbai
city in search of their daily bread. From the time, he was brought
to the home, his father has severed all ties with him. Romeo sometimes
misses him, but knows that he is better off here. He is currently
studying in class X in St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri, Mumbai.
He loves playing volleyball, badminton and football and aspires
to become a pilot when he grows up.