Aren't They ?

"Half-tea"
"Give me a Egg puffs as well"
It was drizzling. The half-tea was warming me up. Two guys and a girl, all aged around 10 years came by, bought a few toffees and started sharing.
There is nothing that you don't get at Jyothi Bakery, I believed.
The kids left.
I almost finished by puffs.
A 7 year old looking kid with no hair on his head came.
I and the shopkeeper thought he was a customer too.
He wanted to buy something as well.

The malayali shopkeeper asked in Kannada
"What do you want ?"
"I want work, do you have any ?"
There is something that you dont get in Jyothi Bakery!

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Sometimes I feel Kerala is a heaven.
I have seen very few instances of child labor in Kerala (this includes Cochin, Thrissur, the Palakkad District). Either I was not observant enough or I am right. When I moved over to Surathkal I was introduced to a world where kids below age 14 are employed in the Messes and Guest Houses of a college which is run by the Ministry of Human Resource Department, Government Of India.
The other students took it for granted.
I was perturbed. How could they do it ? Don't the college authorities atleast have a list of people employed in the institution with a column for their age ?

In Bangalore they are everywhere, doing everything.
Hotels, workshops, Industries. . . . everywhere.
They come from everywhere.
Sometimes as far as Jarkhand.

So what do we do ?
You can't just ban it.

These guys are earning a living.
They are feeding themselves and sometimes other mouths too.
They are better than educated home-sitting jobless elite who don't contribute anything to the economy.
Aren't they ?

So what do we do ?
Legitimize their employment ?

These guys are future citizens too.
They should know what is wrong and what is right.
They should be given the opportunity to try their hand in skills other than washing utensils and wiping tables. They are our future citizens too.
Aren't They ?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought it is most appropriate to mention this here.

felinedev said...

i share ur feelings on this too....its an endemic problem in our country that roots from the base disregard for childrens aspirations and dreams, leave alone lack of respect for their talents, other countries (not that child labors not there in other parts of the world)......do so much to help chidren develop talents frm an early age,.....but ve to thibk of ways we can make a difference as well, ur blog started a dialogue...its heartening to see that people out there still care...

Anonymous said...

Let us all blog about it and the problem will be solved.

Prajeesh said...

Haha! If problems are solved by blogging about them, this world would have been a heaven.

Anonymous said...

Let us all blog about it and the problem will be solved.

Haha! If problems are solved by blogging about them, this world would have been a heaven.
Exactly! That is what I was trying to say. What do you achieve by blogging about this except getting some attention?

Prajeesh said...

Sorry anonymous, that I misunderstood your sarcastic comment.
Other than grabbing some attention (yes agreed that this is the main purpose of this blog), writing down this will remind me and the readers of "their" existence.
And look at yourself. See how much you are concerned. You are arguing with me that this post is of no use to better "their" life in any way. Agreed. No arguments.
I just felt that we take it for granted. I am just hoping that we will be more conscious of this problem. And if given a chance show some compassion to these unlucky ones.
I know my article is not that strong enough to leave a impression on the readers mind. But I believe there is no harm in trying.