His innocent eyes...





What do you think about the child in this picture? Who is he? What he does? What does the innocence in his eyes say?
He has put colorful dots on his face and also drawn a mustache with a black paint, to give himself a funny look and attract everyone’s attention. But he hasn’t done all this for any fancy dress competition in school… Because he doesn’t go to school…

Yes, you read it just right… He doesn’t to school. This kid has such a funny get up in order to earn his living. I've seen him several times during my journey back home. He travels in trains plying between Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Pune, with a lady, who is supposedly his mother. She beats a small drum like thing called the damru for some music to make an opening of the show. 

The child performs various activities in order to please the passengers. He dances at the beats of damru with one hand one his head and another on the side his thin waist. He sings the sizzling numbers from Bollywood, and says some funny jingles.

He then rolls over on his hands along the aisle from one end to the other and back again. Then he passes his delicate and flexible body through a ring which might be measuring barely 9 inches in diameter! After performing his tactics repeatedly in front of all the passengers, he goes around through each one of them… with a mucky bowl in his tiny hand, so that people put some money in it…

And he is not alone, not the only one. Hundreds of kids are engaged in such activities.
What an irony! This is our ‘Young India’! Where kids don’t go to school, they can’t read or write. They are pushed into all these odd jobs at such a young age.



Instead of singing rhymes and reciting poems these kids have Bollywood songs on their lips. Instead of books they carry a bowl to beg. Instead of eating nutritious food at the age of physical development, they feed themselves on leftovers they manage to get from somewhere.They are not kids with robust health, they are malnourished.

They don’t have ambitions of becoming doctors or engineers; their only aim is not to sleep on an empty stomach at night. And what are we doing? We just care to entertain ourselves during the cumbersome journey. When this kid was performing in the train, passengers were looking at his acts with awe.

They were talking among each other gesturing towards the kid. They also threw in a few coins in his bowl at the end of the act. But they fail to see the plight in his innocent eyes.They think they are doing charity and helping the kid. But in fact they are encouraging child-labour thus strengthening the roots of such evils.

And our Government…what is it doing? Apart from making fake promises and then turning their back on the people of the country?

Can we know where all the money that is allotted on paper, mind it, I said on paper, for the upliftment and the education of the downtrodden? Where are schools for these kids built? Are the located in remote locations where these kids can’t reach? Or they simply don’t exist? And if at all they exist, we don’t have well trained teachers. And that’s because teachers are not well paid, so they too don’t care to continue.

Certain government schools have an arrangement of ‘mid-day meals’ in order to attract more and more students to school and also to retain the existing count of students. But what good it does? The quality of the meal is so pathetic. There are no standards of hygiene. Children fall prey to food poisoning. It’s not a school, its inviting one’s own death.

By telling you about the small kid, and bringing the reality to your notice, I’m trying to appeal to you not to do anything that aggravates the condition of these innocent kids. Don’t encourage child labour and beggary, let us do something to educate a child…. And make India a better place to dream of a good life… 

And if everyone starts doing it, a chain reaction will definitely start. Think of the distant future. The kids we help, will learn, grow up, live a decent life and they too will help other downtrodden kids with their education, and other facilities...This will definitely bring a change. Gradual, but much faster than what our Government does.

I’ll too soon do something for a child, when I stand firmly on my own feet…that’s my promise….

You too make a promise to give a well deserved better life to an under-priviledged child…

9 comments:

  1. i have read fourth post on such children in 2-3 days.. every time i asked myself "what i am doing for them"..

    now i get that its awareness which we need first to help these children.

    so nice attempt in that direction..

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  2. It makes me sad every time I see children like these ..And i always wonder what I can or/and cannot do to help these children..So very sad to see the plight of innocent children :(

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  3. hmmm .. The the initiative to help the children, once they are already doing such odd jobs and performances is a lost cause.

    The families at this level are already looking at the kids are another source for daily bread and you really cannot blame them.. every one must survive, its human nature ..

    instead an initiative that actively tracks and educates households that are at a rick of falling prey to such a scenario will be more effective. 1) setting up a trust that will pay for education ( child is registered at child birth) 2) Employing the women of the house hold. etc

    I shadowed a now defunct NGO which tried this. but tracking households and reaching out to them is an mammoth undertaking and volunteers refused to get their shoes dirty by walking along the gutter to go speak to them.

    Kids are important I agree, but educate and rescue the house hold fist :p

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  4. @Sumukh Bansal, @Natasha:

    Hello..glad u liked this post. Yes you are right, that spreading awareness is the first step, but it doesn't end here. We need to put in some personal effort. Doing something for a child at least, if not for masses.

    @Gautham Gurumurthi- Hello Sir, welcome to my blog.
    Your opinion is absolutely correct. But it applies to a joint effort for uplifting the masses.
    Here I tried to emphasize on personal effort to help the downtrodden, as an individual. No doubt, the NGO's have good ideas, but they don't have enough support from the people like us, like you said 'volunteers refused to get their shoes dirty by walking along the gutter to go speak to them.'

    So the system as a whole (including our government) is a failure and it is very much in front of our eyes, where the literacy rates have been going in these 65 years of independence. Its time we help at least one child, and try to bring a change.

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  5. Sad. He has such nice eyes.

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  6. It is their only way to earn the daily bread for their family....
    Their childhood is snatched away from them but what option do they have when thr is no help around.

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  7. See. This is where the growing disparity between the two sides of Indian life comes into view.

    Absolutely terrible.

    - R.R

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  8. We need to work at the roots and understand the problem rather than looking at this problem at the macro elements. there are various other social elements responsible. Needs a very holistic outlook. Thank you for sharing. You have a good blog....and i think i will visit again. In case you love poetry you can check some of my work :). Thank you. God Bless

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  9. its a painful sight and yes this situation needs to be highlighted and given more exposure,it may not complete cure the plight of underprivileged kids but will surely improve it.

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