When children are denied parental love and protection, who do they turn to or where do they end up?
The answer is that, invariably, they end up destitute walking the roads aimlessly, hoping against hope for tender loving care they have sadly missed in their pitiable life.
This heart-wrenching story of two little children found loitering on the road in Palaviya, Puttalam, a few weeks ago, was reported by Ceylon Today.
Madusha Lakmali, 12, and her younger brother Kavisha, only 4, had been abandoned by their mother due to fate dealing a cruel blow as their father is considered a brute of a man.
He had taken out his anger on the two innocent children, constantly abusing them.
When they could not bear the torture any more they had run away and had lived with some relatives for a short while.
But their suffering did not end there; it became worse. One day, their aunt had chased them away from her home, with callous disregard to their safety.
Lost in a lonely world of their own Madusha had no choice but to walk the roads holding her little brother's tiny hand.
Without any aim she had got onto an Anamaduwa bus with her brother, and then alighting from the bus, had got onto a Puttalam bound bus. The two kids, utterly lost, had got down from the bus once again and started walking aimlessly on the Colombo-Puttalam road.
Having traversed an unknown road for hours, hungry, thirsty and tired, they went to a wayside boutique to get a drink of water.
It was definitely a stroke of luck as Dottie Abrew (68) saw them there. She said, "When I saw these children I knew something was wrong. They asked for water and I gave them water.
“I knew they were hungry and gave them food to eat. Then the girl told me their sad story – how they came to be lost on a lonely road.
“I was so moved and soon told my son about them. He had got in touch with some journalists and they called the police."
Till then, Dottie Abrew had looked after them with kindness, which had been denied them so long.
On information received the Children's and Women's Protection Bureau in Puttalam, on the instruction of SSP Anura Abeywickrema had taken charge of the children.
He said, "I have instructed our officers to search for their parents in the Nawagaththegama area. Until we decide to take further action, the children are being looked after by our women police officers."
Thankfully, the two abandoned children had finally found refuge with the police, thus averting what could have turned out to be a frightful experience for them.