Sunday, February 26, 2006

The other side of young India

The Maharashtra & Central governments may want us to believe India is on to the verge of breaking into the super power club. The picture they paint is so rosy that an average person would consider his country indeed is on par with China or even America. Why not, India registered an unprecedented growth in GDP; our stock market breached the magical figure of 10K. Why not, we are acquiring world class fighter planes and other military paraphernalia. We are gained entry into the exclusive club of Nuclear Powers. We have set our eyes on the permanent seat of Security Council. Yes India is sure flying.
But India is not only the flashy cosmopolitan cities. Indians are not the only ones, who drive swanky cars, fly to exotic places to spend vacation or bring the crème-layer of America to celebrate wedding. The real India is where children die of malnutrition, children who work under punishing circumstances to feed their family.Under the very high rises, kids beg for a living. This is the India. The real India.
India’s rural face has always been neglected. The recent avian flu has unearthed a tip of an iceberg. The health workers who conducted a house-to-house test for avian flu found seriously mal-nourished children in this tribal area, Nawapur Maharashtra. Some of them were so weak that the doctor said they may live another year or so.
There were a lot of child deaths but the government machinery systematically covered it up. There was a gaping difference between the government’s statistics and independent studies. A detailed report is available Here.
Being un-educated and out of income the tribals are not able to look after their kids properly. And the corrupt officialdom is making things not easier.
Another instance of government’s total lack of concern is regarding the child labor. All these years there were numerous laws to prevent it, but nothing has been done to eradicate this malady from the society. In Mumbai alone, millions of kids work in Zari units, small hotels (prominently in hotels that run by Mangloreans) and construction sites. The age ranges from 5 to 14! They work as hard as any adult and get half the pay! I interviewed some of this hotel cleaners and thye said their parents forced them into this! When their friends and relatives go to schools and playgrounds, these unfortunate youngsters are working hard to support their family!
Action must be taken against those erring parents who underfed kids or sending them to work. If they can’t afford to feed their children, they don’t have a right to be the parent.
Law must be changed to include this provision to punish the parents. The future belongs to kids. Save them!

3 comments:

Kuttan said...

Child Labor is the true malise of our society today. Even more disgusting is the fact that some of those who speaks againsts it itself condones it in their own private life. They may have underaged children working in their homes and maids. Every now and then we hear stories of abused underaged maids in the home of these elites.
Another curel face of the child labor is Child beggars towards whom much of the society is sympathetic what may of us who give alms to these children dont relalize it that too is some sort of and ogranized labor. Im gald that the state of Kerala has realized this and is taking strict actions against child beggars. Once people stop giving alms to these Children the goondas who forcefully employ these children whould stop doing so.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

The new page format looks super! I haven't been able to read or write anything of substance lately...busy setting up infrastructure in Madras. Go see Amma in Bombay next week!

Shinu Mathew said...

@Kuttan;
Exactly the point I was trying to make. In fact me and my friend sirensongs have started a debate sometimes back. IT is an organized crime and controlled by by a cartel like setup. They have power, Money, political might.
Kerala is taking some baby steps to prevent this but there is a long long way to go. Other states don't even consider this existing! Thousands of kids, may be tomorrows Einsteins and Aids Cure finders, are wasted in this rotting gutter.