12
December , 2017
Tuesday

VidYouth

It Happens Here :>

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canteen

“Arey chinna! jaldi oka cold drink patkara ra, oka samosa kuda theesuko ra, inka jagarata, emaina padinayi ante ninnu sampestha!” (Hey kid, get a cold drink and a samosa very quickly and be very careful, if you spill anything on the floor, I will just kill you!). These are literally the words of the canteen owner at Bharat Institute Of  Engineering  And Technology (BIET), Mr.Narsimha to a child, who amongst four others (child labourers) works in his canteen.

This particular child, who has been forced to drop out from school due to his parents’ pressure is seemingly a new scapegoat for this canteen owner. The child is slogged with special care and attention virtually for all the working hours of the college.

The canteen owner 'Training' the child. Credit: Painless Predator

The canteen owner 'Training' the child. Credit: Painless Predator

When questioned, the canteen owner was quick to respond with a seeming sense of pride in his face. He says,“Veedu ikkada kotha kurradu, pani neruchukune varaku ilane pani cheyinsta” (This kid is new at work, so till he understands his job totally, I will make him work continously like this). This is a very common sight for most of the ‘gangs’ of friends, who hangout in the canteen of the college but indeed a very disturbing one too. These supposed Child Labourers, who work extensively and uninterruptedly are of 6-10 years of age and manage to earn Rs.500 to Rs.1000 a month. The irony is that all this is encouraged at a place where knowledge and moral values are imparted.

When this little boy, Raju was asked about what he wants to do, he answered hesistantly, “Yes!.. I  too want to study, but you ask my parents first. They are the ones who put me here and they will be the ones to decide whether I go to school again”. This is yet another case of the child exploitation saga, which has been going on since decades, ironically, in a country where a child is believed to be the reflection of god. It makes one wonder if our moral values have all gone to the dogs.

Mr.Narsimha was taken aback when he was asked why he employs children below 10 years. But he then answered unscrupulously, “Child workers are often very easy to find and employ. They neither demand much nor make fuss when asked to do a lot of work. But most importantly, these children can easily be dominated due to their submissive behavior”.

A child labourer - Raju in search for a hope Credit: Painless Predator

A child labourer - Raju in search for a hope Credit: Painless Predator

A frequent visitor to this canteen, Anand Paul of  B.Pharmacy comments, “Sometimes it’s quite disturbing when these small children come to your tables to lift your plates, clean the tables and even wash some utensils which are bigger in size than them but no one ever stands up against this. I have also spoken to the management of the college about this. They (management) haven’t taken a firm stand against this till now. It is very disheartening”. Though one might get upset noticing the plight of these children who are being forced with so much of burden on their tender shoulders instead of  holding ‘Slates and Chalks’ or even ‘bats and balls’

When the management of BIET was questioned about this grave offence, the college management acknowledged the same and assured an immediate action on a positive note. Let optimism be the word of the day and if at all the management takes a step forward, the students of this college will be the happiest!

Let’s hope that these unfortunate children breathe a sigh of relief very soon and begin fostering their age old tradition of  playing joyfully in the playgrounds!!!

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2 Responses to ““I too want to study”: Working children at BIET”

  1. Priceless Aggression says:

    Nice nice….Seriously yaar we hav to do smethin abt this……

  2. Pens Eve says:

    It’s time we do something about this.. Very well written :)

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