Where’s My Childhood Gone?

“This place doesn’t feel like the cradle, it is rough and smells bad. There is no warmth or love, just cold drops of rain splattering against my face. The freezing winds tearing us apart, my tattered towel and me. We all wish to live don’t we? But to live was to protest; it could have been so much easier if I knew how to walk or perhaps crawl.

I have been crying for hours now. I hear only dogs barking in response. Nobody had heard me. My cries grew faint. The dogs grew weary of barking and so did I of crying. Now the only thing I could hear was my heart growing feeble with every beat. I was a week old now; sure I had lived a long time. Clearly it was time to part. And with that, I closed my eyes for good. May thy forgive thou who did not know the value of a life.”

– Thoughts of an abandoned baby

“It is warm in here and I really like it. Today I’m two months old and I get so much of love from my papa and ma.

Now I’m only three months old yet they have planned so much for me:  toys, cradle, goodies,I can’t wait to be out.

Four months and papa is listening to me with his ears on ma’s bulging belly. I love you too, can you hear me? 

I’m only five months old but papa is taking ma to someone named “doctor”. He saddens them greatly. He says I’m a girl. I don’t like him. But what is a girl?

Something is wrong, they don’t talk to me anymore. Ma sobs mostly and papa where are you? 

Six months and it all comes to an end. I do not know for what. Was the wish to be born or live such a burden? Was being a girl such a crime?

Well, I wasn’t born but that day they did give birth to a plague called Female Foeticide.”
–  An unborn girl child

“I toil for long hours under the burning sun, I must earn and feed myself. I have no parents. I will never know what it is like to play, be loved and be taken care of.”
– A child labourer

And there are thousands of other voices suffering as such, waiting for us to reach out to them and save them from the cruel fate. Yes, touched, shocked aren’t we by reading such disturbing instances?

Moved by these, we question “Who could fall so low? How inhuman can one be?”

Well then, let me tell you that it is not criminals, a group of people with specific common desires or traits to perform evil. No. It’s just ordinary people like the guy walking down the street with a sweet smile, or your neighbor, my boss, your colleague, a friend I trust, could be you or even me.

And how inhuman we ask? Well amigos it is not inhuman, rather this is what has become of humanity lately. Only we humans are capable of such repugnant brutality without awe, without remorse. Yet we are proud of the human race aren’t we? To be civilized, modern and certainly the supreme species of the Animal Kingdom, being at the top of the hierarchy.

Not a day goes by without being drenched in the blood of an abandoned newborn, female foeticide or the smeared with the tears of the suffering innocent children of all age groups left at the mercy of the hands of smugglers and rapists.

As per the statistics published in the Times of India recently, India earned the distinction of being a country unsafe for its children with 33,100 cases reported in 2011 against 26,694 cases during 2010.  Uttar Pradesh accounted for 16.6% of the crimes against children in 2011, followed by Madhya Pradesh (13.2%), Delhi (12.8%), Maharashtra (10.2%), Bihar (6.7%) and Andhra Pradesh (6.7%).

Maharashtra accounted for 74% of the 27 total cases of buying of girls for prostitution while West Bengal accounted for 77% of the 113 total cases of selling of girls for prostitution.

The year 2011 witnessed a 43% increase in cases of while cases of rape increased by 30%. Foeticide cases increased by 19% over 2010 to 132 cases, of which highest were registered in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Chhattisgarh and Punjab. The last time such a report on the state of India’s children came out was in 2008.

But lately various NGOs and social activists endeavor tirelessly to put an end to all such heinous crimes against children and save them from that malignant fate. They organize campaigns, fund raising events and charities for establishing children’s homes, orphanages and schools as well as take up the authority to run them and secure the welfare of the suffering children.

Two particularly active motions against “rising crimes against children” are The Childline India Foundation (CIF), and The Akanksha Foundation. The Former in 1996 launched CHILDINE 1098, a 24 hour toll-free emergency phone outreach for service of children in need of care and protection. A project taken up the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development linking state governments, NGOs and the corporate sector. The latter, that is The Akanksha Foundation strives to abolish child labour through various means of awareness.

Well then my fellow human, we all have our own fears. Sometimes even towards envisages as vague as ghouls and spirits. Trust me, we have nothing to fear but the present shape humanity is taking and its sins, for I have heard of no ghost molesting or abandoning children but of fellow men who do so. Despite the efforts of the NGOs, these carcinogenic issues still plague our society.

And this is exactly where we come in. Yes, we and only we together can wipe out such disturbing incidents just by taking right decisions. Report to the police, every suspicious activity involving children happening in the corner of the streets. Lead to the NGOs that guarantee their safety and protection, every child you see involved in  labour work; for every child in need of help or abandoned, guide them to Childline India Foundation. And for every illiterate, ignorant or misguided parent you meet, counsel them to do what is correct. These children are in dire need of the NGOs, and the NGOs are in utter need of our mass support.

For all those times you watched your heroes fighting for a noble cause in a movie say Ironman, Hulk and wished to be like him. Well amigo, these children in distress need heroes, this is your chance. Be A Hero.

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