When we think of a child, one will always imagine a cute child who is running in his pamper or cycling and playing or maybe a one from the ads that we see on television.
Life is not a bed of roses for all children in their Childhood.
There are kids whom we see begging on the streets, serving tea on a tea stall and even picking rags from the garbage. These children dream of being like the other privileged children who go to school, watch TV, play with friends and sleep on a cosy bed at night but alas God has not been so good to them.
The government has banned child labour. Children under the age of 14 years are illegal to hire. Does this mean that these children are not working? Putting their childhood at stake, they are hired with very less pay and are not on records. They work more and are paid less.
Psychologically a child or a baby, no matter which species it belongs to, is always cute and lovable.
Keeping this human weakness in mind, we see ladies begging with tiny tots in their arms. They try to gain our sympathy and they successfully do so. We give either money or food or clothes to such ladies. Here we have put another child’s future at stake. This child will grow up to become a beggar and nothing more.
There are rag pickers who leave home early in the morning and search for plastic, glass and rusted iron or metal pieces in the garbage so that they can sell it and earn some money to buy food. These rag pickers even eat stale food from the garbage bins. Such a pity! When other children are studying in the school these children peruse the garbage, eat stale food just to fill their stomachs and put their childhood at stake.
Here, I do not expect everyone to either bring the child home or educate the child. I realise that it is practically not possible. I will not even tell you to be good citizens and not give work to poor children or complain to the police when you see some child working at a tea stall or in a shop because food is the priority for these children. Even if education is made free for them they will not be able to learn anything with an empty stomach.
The childhood of many children here in India is at stake and I really don’t know how this will come to an end. I can only wish God to be little more humble and shower his blessings on such children so that they grow up to be self-sufficient individuals.