It was the early morning like any other day but there were few things that happened with me on that day which made me think of some issues related to the loopholes in our system and most importantly related to our future generation. I woke up and started my day with tea in my hand. I was standing in the balcony when suddenly I saw a boy, approx. 10 years old, on a bicycle distributing newspapers. A thought struck me, ‘this boy distributing paper, did he ever think about what is written inside? Did he ever think about the rights provided to him by the government? Did he ever bother about the getting educated? Going to school?’ It disturbed me.

His eyes were full of sadness, heart full of dreams, but either because of stomach or because of financial problem he had to distribute paper. I thought about the rich people, the rich kids and how they spend their mornings. I am sure it’s full of comfort unlike that boy in the street.

It did hit me for few seconds but soon I moved on as it is a regular case in the country. I walked to a Tea shop and again I saw a child serving tea and getting scolded by the owner. I saw as he sadly stared at the children of his age going to a school in a uniform. I saw in his eyes how deliberately he wanted to go to school but then,

Shop owner scolded him again - “Do your work properly.”
I said – “He is just a child.”
Shop owner – “I don’t care. His father urged me to give work to him.”
I said – “You shouldn’t do it.”
Shop owner – “I pay his father 300 a month.”

This was the moment I felt that the dream of this country can be sold in merely 300 rupees. And, the tuition fees of a private school Rs. 3000 a month. Is this country providing equal opportunities to all? How can these poor children get the basic education if the fees is so high and they are clutched with the responsibility of earning?

I moved on again with a heavy heart. Waiting for the college bus, again I saw some children on a footpath with open hands circulating around every person on the stop in hope of getting just one penny. A girl from that group came to me, she must be approx. 6 years old -

“I didn’t eat anything since morning. Please give me something to eat bhaiya.”

The voice I heard was so full of panic and sadness. And people across me keep telling me that they are trained beggars don’t give money to them. I was shocked by the mentality of the citizens. Even beggars can be trained? If yes then WHY? It’s not the profession that anybody would ever want to choose. It was alarming!

From that day onwards, I encountered many children of age below 14 years working like a labor in some shop, in some school, in some business firm. Do the owners not realize that it is declared as a sin by the government? Child Labor is a punishable offence.

From the report – The 2001 national census of India estimated the total number of child labor, aged 5–14, to be at 12.6 million, out of a total child population of 253 million in 5-14 age group. The child labor problem is not unique to India; worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time.

It depend on us whether we want to eradicate or increase like before. If we want to ensure a better future for the children of our society, we should work towards it too instead of solely depending on the Government. Start educating children around you, counsel their parents, tell the owners to stop employing them as labors.



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