Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Child hood song ..

Ears Hear a sweet Tweet from my window sil
Cheeks Feel the gentle touch of a quill
Nape senses a whiff of breeze through the apron frill
All of that  kindle memories of a melodic shrill
That play in my heart with a free will 
 
Eyes closed still .

Friday, January 11, 2013

God ..please dont give me the wisdom to accept things that I cannot change ..

Pain , anguish, helplessness , and a few more violent feelings (unworthy of publication ) are what I feel whenever I see an eight year old taking care of a baby in a pram , or a twelve year old engaging a child at the park , or worse - taking care of toddlers while the lady is busy shopping at the mall.
If I know the door number I simply dial 1068 ..However feel frustrated and helpless when there is no way I can do something about it ,without knowing the address of the offender to lodge a complaint ...
Last week , when  and my sister and I  witnessed something like this at a mall we thought talking to the lady who had employed a 7 or 8 year old to take care of her infant would help ..After a carefully crafted conversation with the lady and hearing from the horses' mouth that indeed the little girl was a "servant '' ..This is how the drama unfolded ...

Me : Maam ,are you aware that child -labour is an offence ?
The protagonist : what are you talking about ??
Me : You just now told me that this little girl is your servant .Are you aware it is an offence ? she is a toddler herself ..
The protagonist :Yes , but she does not work for me ..she just wanted to see a mall and so I brought her ...
Me : Maam , you just now told me she is your "servant " ..and the girl also told us that she works for you ...( patted myself for the good ground work ..without realising I am the one to be grounded shortly !!)
The protagonist : No , I never said anything like that ..and my father is a DSP ..( something which I never asked her and which sent chills down my spine ...)
Big fish ..small net ...the fisherman loses the net and the catch !
By now a good crowd had gathered - mute , lame and deaf , ofcourse...
The lady not only started raising her voice in defense ...but her hands too at the kid -to a full audience -The "mute , lame and deaf " variety ..

By then my sister spotted a police constable and nudged me to lodge a complaint with him .. How naive can she get ? Better sense prevailed thanks to my so many years of being a Resident Indian citizen , I simply dragged my sister and scooted !
Afterall the constable was her bodyguard for this mall trip sent by her "DSP daddy " and lodging a complaint with him could have landed me / us in jail on some false allegation ...

Phew ! That was a narrow escape ...for us ..
But what about the little girl ??? would she have got battered after reaching home for talking to us ? would she be sent back to her village only to face more wrath from her poor parents ?
Not sure ...But this will be her last trip to a mall for sure ...
I really am researching to know how a common citizen can help in such situations and book the offenders .. Anybody ???
I thank god for a lovely husband who said "I would have somehow got you out " and my dear friend ( who is most probably reading this) , who shared a high level contact ..just in "case" ! ( scary pun !! not intended at all )

My prayers changed from that day ...

God ! please dont give me the wisdom to accept things I cannot change ..


The child helpline (a call centre ..sigh ..)  , The collectors' office numbers ..nothing works . And wonder if the government run transit homes for these rescued children are a safer bet ...

While we have all kinds of screening for security these days at malls ..wouldnt be a good idea to check for child labour too ??

While some apartment complexes have strong rules against childlabour ..it is still 'winked at' in many places ...

One or two agencies when contacted felt this was just one case ( one little child ) whereas they are dealing with it at a larger level ..

Doesnt every drop in the ocean count ??