Google job that wasn’t: 16-year-old diagnosed with ‘confusional psychosis’, parents affected too
Parents of the boy who got a fake call as a job offer from Google continues to be in agony. The boy — 16-year-old Harshit Sharma — has been diagnosed with ‘confusional psychosis’ by an Ambala doctor. While the parents fear for their son’s future, they fear being taunted by their colleagues, relatives, and neighbours too, they told HT in Chandigarh on Monday.
Both the parents are teachers. Both of them agree to the fact that the principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, Chandigarh, the boy’s alma mater, should not have released the news without confirming it from them. “I am a principal too. I know the responsibility,” said Rajinder K Sharma, Harshit’s father. The family belongs to Kurukshetra in Haryana.
It was on July 29 that the UT administration released a press note about Harshit’s purported achievement. The release claimed that the internet giant Google would pay him Rs 12 lakh per month as salary after a year’s training. During training, it was claimed he will get a stipend of Rs 4 lakh per month. The school had first released a press note, and the administration had followed. However, three days later, Google denied having offered paid training and job to Harshit.
Even now, question remains over the “offer letter” that the school has provided to the media, claiming that Harshit had forwarded it to a teacher. The letter has several mistakes and does not contain any salary details.
Yet, the parents have now said they “do not want to blame the principal” as they think “she probably did it in excitement, feeling it’s the best for the school”. “But the principal has not contacted us even now, when it’s all over the news that Harshit is in hospital,” said the mother, Bharti Sharma
“I too am a teacher. Whenever a student wins a competition, we create a report of the achievement, have comments from the parents, and then we release the news to the press,” she added.
The boy was discharged from Patnaik Hospital, Ambala, on August 7. The report provided by the parents says that the boy was admitted on August 2. Dr RK Patnaik diagnosed him with confusional psychosis, a state in which the patient has delusions. “The boy was brought here in a confused state. He did not recognise anyone. He kept refusing food, and did not cooperate. Now the boy has recovered a little,” said Dr Patnaik.
Harshit’s father already has a medical condition and is being treated at Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. He has been operated upon four times to remove a bone from his brain, according to the family. He had stitches all over his face, and could not speak properly.
“We did not inform the principal about any such news. I get so many fake calls on my phone but I do not believe those calls. If the child had gone to the principal, she should have called us,” said Rajinder.
The doctor has suggested keeping the boy away from mobile phones, TV, and the media as it might remind him of the incident. Parents said that they are now being taunted by everyone, including relatives, which has made it really difficult for the boy to recover.
“We had acquired a good reputation in such a long time. We are not even rich, so to say. This incident has shattered our lives. I am now thinking of resigning from the college. I don’t know how I will face my students,” said the father.
The boy has been taken to a relative’s place to recover. Parents fear for his future as well as look for ways to help themselves come out of this incident. “We have told the boy not to lose heart, we are with him,” said the father.