Caroline Boxall, my good friend, has asked me to write to you about her new book. As I'm one of the main characters, I'm very happy to do this. I love talking about myself!
I'm Rish, I'm eleven years old and I have big dreams. My biggest dream is to open a shoe shop. I don't wear them myself, but other people do!
If you've read The Runaway Children of Mumbai, you'll know I had to run away from the slum where I lived in Chennai because my dad tried to drown me.
I didn’t want to die. My life might be difficult right now, but I had a future and what was more, I needed to look after Mariam.
I looked at my horrible father sitting in the boat with me, the knife in one hand, the rudder in the other and a sneery smile on his face. What was he planning to do to me?
I wasn’t going to sit there waiting to find out; I stood up and dived off the boat. As I surfaced I heard Bapa making more animal noises, but now it was more like a frustrated roar, as he turned the boat around.
My sister Mariam and I ended up being sold to a horrible couple called the Khatuns who sent me to work in their silk factory.
Through the cheap door, the noise hit me, and so did the smell. It was like a thousand greedy giants chomping their way through a million bones. Clack, clack, clack over and over, and the closer we got to the factory floor the louder it got.
I made it though to the end of the book (just, those Khatuns were evil), and now Caroline is about to give me another adventure.
The Secret Children of Mumbai will be out on 1st March. Both stories are, as you know, works of fiction. However, everything that happens to us, all the horrible and scary times we live through, they are real, and they happen every day to homeless children in India.
Would you like to help children like me?
Caroline, wanted to raise awareness of our problems, and that’s why she wrote these books. You can easily help, simply by reading our stories and leaving a review on Amazon, or wherever you bought the book. This will encourage more people to read and understand how hard it is to be a homeless child in India.
Maybe help to spread the word by encouraging your friends and family to read our story.
You can sign up to Caroline’s website to keep in touch with news - I’ve learnt how to write (thanks to Mariam’s patient teaching), and I might send you another email from time to time.
You can go to the Railway Children website to discover more about the brilliant charity.
I can't wait to find out what happens to me in The Secret Children of Mumbai . I really hope it's going to be a happy ending!
All the best,