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     Volume 4 Issue 42 | April 16, 2005 |

   Cover Story
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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a 14-year-dold girl in Class 7. I changed my school in 2004 when I was in Class 6. The problem is that I can't adjust with my new school and nobody here wants to be my friend. I have only a few friends here. Most of the girls don't even want to sit beside me. And for this reason I cannot concentrate on my studies and I am absent most of the time. I was never a bad student, and I never want to see my parents unsatisfied with my results. What should I do? How can I concentrate on my studies? How will I be able to adjust with my classmates?

Dear Desperate,
Although what is happening to you is upsetting, this is not at all unusual. There are many young people who go through the trauma of feeling rejected by friends and peers. Please do not take this so seriously; believe me this is just a passing phase. Even if you find one person in your class who wants to be your friend then take advantage of that. Build up a friendship of trust and camaraderie with her and you will not feel so rejected. You must also try to win the admiration of your peers by excelling in your studies and some extra curricular activities. As I said, please do not lose sleep over this as this will soon pass.

Dear Mita,
I am a physics student of Jagannath University. My father is a day-labourer and very poor. He is a great man because he is determined to educate us at any cost. But he has grown old and cannot work hard. Because of this, my older brother had to quit studying after his SSCs in order to start earning for the family. He launched a restaurant business by taking loan from some villagers with a lot of interest. Unfortunately, the business fell through and lost everything and my family fell into great debt. My father sent my brother to the Middle East but his income isn't sufficient to pay the debt and the interest is increasing gradually. My brother has sought help from and sent me a visa to go join him in the Middle East. I know we owe it to our parents to give them some happiness and peace of mind, but I'm also concerned about my studies. I'm doing alright and am getting a scholarship which will get me through my MSc. Should I give up my studies and go join my brother? Please help.

Dear Gypsy,
I can well imagine your dilemma as this is a very complicated situation. However, though your family needs you and rightly so, I will still advise you to hold on a little longer and complete your education. This way in the long run you will be able to help your family in a sustainable way with more resources. It is not unreasonable for the family to expect you to help in these difficult times. Please try to explain that you need a little more time and that completing your studies will ultimately be beneficial for the entire family.

Dear Mita,
I teach at an English coaching centre. A girl in Class 10 told me that she loves me, even though she knows that I'm married. Seeing that she was pretty serious, I told her that if she wanted me, she would have to do really well in her SSC exams. She took this to be an yes on my part and we got physically involved and fell in deep love. But I'm concerned about my duty, about the fact that her parents have sent her to me to study and whether I am abusing my responsibilities. Please tell me what I should do.

Dear Rubbish,
I believe what you have done is morally and ethically wrong. The parents of this girl (who is underage) entrusted you with a responsibility and you have broken their trust. You have also abused your power as a teacher and someone the young girl looks up to. Besides this you have been unfaithful to your wife who also trusts you. What you should do is break off this relationship with the underage girl (this is a criminal offence) as soon as you can and leave this institution which you have no right to remain in any longer.

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