Mahatma Gandhi said that Children are the future on free India. They reflect true picture of what we make of our country and society as a whole. Somewhere in our race to beat others and prove that we are at the helm – be it in terms of money, power, position and numerous other measures, we have literally forgotten/ ignored what Bapu said.
How many of us tread the path of truth or have the courage and conviction to abide by it “Come what may”.
I quote the state of the street children in Dwarka – to say the least it is pathetic. It is very common sight to see them at the various traffic signals asking for bheekh, in torn and dirty clothes, barely covered backs and holding children smaller than themselves.
They are organized gangs operating in the sub city now. I share an incident of Rani – who used to sit at one of the crossings in Dwarka – about a fortnight ago – holding a baby (sonu) and asking for money from the passersby, so that sonu can be fed, as he was hungry from days. She herself was about 7 years old.
Her uncle had brought her along from Jodhpur in bus. He was a drunkard and she was now on drugs. The feeding bottle (of the baby) was only used as a show piece, as the money went into buying liquor, beedi and drugs. I asked her one day – does she not want to get out this vicious cycle. She started crying understanding that she has no where to go – which actually is true. I contemplated on whether anything can be done – for such victims – as I am unable to decide – so I come to Dwarkites – asking the question – Can anything be done for such helpless street children?
Here is my analysis:
Delhi Police says dial 1090 if you observe – any such incident, but then the downside is that – these children will be taken to the ‘Adolescence Center’, tried in courts and housed in these centers. NGOs also come forward and tread this same path.
It is not uncommon to read in the newspapers – that the inmates (for the lack of words) have absconded from such centers because they were physically and mentally abused, put on drugs, forced into prostitution and what not.
Only about 0.5% of them are able to move onto a barely decent life. A primary reason for this is the apathy of the authorities, who declare their job as “DONE and OVER” – once these children are put into the Adolescent centers. Why do they not realize the fact that, there are other ‘more deteriorated childhood cases’ housed in the same center – who are longer drug addicts, into more evil habits – who will definitely subject these relatively gullible souls to harsher and more severe torture – ‘inside the center. This leaves them LOST and ERODED on all fronts – mentally, physically and emotionally.
When thinking about this, I was left with only a single option – bring Rani home. But honestly speaking, how many of us – if at all – would bring them home – not to maltreat them as servants. How many of us would actually be willing to give them the status and stability that we give to our children. I accept the fact – I CAN’T. But can someone show us the path, what can be done.