‘If not now then when? If not you then who?’
Born in Vidisha, a district in state of Madhya Pradesh Mr. Kailash Satyarthi decided to dedicate his life in human service. The task was daunting and the enemy’s power immeasurable.
The seeker of the truth (Satyarthi) trained as an electrical engineer and after entering the selfless paths of activism, his life’s aim was clear; to abolish the curse of child labour from the face of this earth. The necessity to do so was obvious even then and far more urgent now. Millions of children still find themselves drowning into the horrid quick sands of child labour, trafficking and slavery.
The recent most amendments made to the comprehensive Child labour ( Prohibition and Regulations ) 1986 act was made back in 2006 in Part’A’ under the heading of ‘Occupations’. As suggested by the the Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee, working at food joints, dhabas, restaurants etc were added in addition to the much needed prohibition of hiring children as domestic help.
The growth of mass inter-state child traffickers and such rackets tells a different story all together which is in complete contrast with what we wish to portray to the world. (I remember the reactions to Slumdog Millionaire and how some sections of the movie were completely indigestible for the indian audience including legends. Is it ignorance?
In the process of transition into a global economy, the intellect gap, daily nutritional intake gap, literacy and economic gap between the the privileged and under-priveledged sections has widened. We need to be quick and fast in terms of technologies, infrastructure so that we can cope up with the growing competition that other emerging economies give us which further translates into foreign investments and inflows, a driving factor for economic growth but does this give us the liberty to leave behind the better half of the population. To ignore the downtrodden, the suppressed; while we climb the stairs towards global socioeconomic omnipresence.
Shri Kailash Satyarthi, his life’s work is a reminder towards consequences of growing public ignorance towards existent sociteal issues and how little the next generation feels for there brothers and sisters (http://www.indiaonlinepages.com/national-symbols/national-pledge.html) dwelling in unacceptable conditions. No child deserves it, destiny is and always has been a fair game.
More than 80,000 saved and rehabilitated under the Bachha Bachao Andolan is of Nobel laureate’s making and many others who selflessly devote there life energies into education and rehabilitation of children in need.
There has been enough talking on the seamless possibilities that we have if eradication is taken up as a mass movement and not just a departmental order. I need not emphasise on this any more than our own Prime Minister but we need to break this inertial frame of reference and become more pro-active in the sense of individually acting when our conscious asks us to and not to give up on our initiatives by merely acquiring preliminary information about the victims. Take the next step !
PS: Citizen’s charter and it’s importance needs to be resurrected in eyes of the literate class. To stop being ignorant towards these evils whose roots have grown deeper and deeper. This needs to be included in the ‘Intermediate Citizen Charters’ which needs to be designed keeping Time as a reference. Like we had successive five year plans and overlooking advisory committees which immensely helped us to set targets and achieve them. Put the onus on our heads!