For many kids, Children’s Day just another day of drudgeryNovember 14th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Rakesh is a 12-year-old who has been working as a domestic help since he was six. On Children’s Day Friday he was hardly in a mood to celebrate. Instead he sought answers for a bruised childhood that he was not responsible for.”Why is that there are so many children being trafficked for forced labour and yet the culprits are not being booked?” he asked in all his innocence.
Rescued by an NGO, the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Rakesh is luckier than many. He got an opportunity to pose the question to K.G. Balakrishnan, the chief justice of India when he came for a function organised by the NGO.
“You can write your complaints on a post card and send it to the Supreme Court and action would be taken against your complaint,” Balakrishnan responded to Rakesh.
Pradeep Kumar, a 13-year-old, who was also rescued by the same NGO, asked what kids could do of they were sold off by their parents and then forced to work.
Balakrishnan replied: “Children or anybody can write to National Legal Service Authority (NLSA) or to the Supreme Court Legal Services and we would take action and any such reports would be welcomed.”
Fourteen-year-old Bharati, however, is still a long way from the relief that Rakesh and Pradeep have experienced.
Working as a domestic help since she was 12, Bharati has too much work on hand to even find out what Children’s Day means.
“Today my employer’s daughters went all dressed up to school. When I asked them what the occasion was, they said that it was Children’s Day. I don’t know what that means, but I did not bother to find out either. I had a lot of chores to attend to,” she said.