You know, Mi, when I saw the theme was Human Rights for this year’s Blog Action Day (October 16, 2013), a day after your official birthday (October 15) I was contemplative. I watched the following video and my eyes filled up because what they’re showing is such stark reality.

To this day, houses employ little children. Not directly – they come as a package deal with their parents who are the ones actually employed and paid a pittance for having the life squeezed out of them. And the children are considered ancillary workers, regardless of whether they are old enough, strong enough…regardless of whether the chores allotted to them are age-appropriate.

The worst thing, as seen on programs like Crime Patrol and Savdhan India which feature real life crimes and incidents, is how little girls from underprivileged families are taken away from them, with the promise they will be educated and looked after. No sooner than they are brought into this generous person’s house, they are immediately initiated into child labor.

Just yesterday I saw an episode where a little girl is adopted by her mother’s sister-in-law. The Mother feels bad because she has two girls and the sister-in-law yearns for kids. So she stupidly lets the SIL adopt her older daughter. This SIL is in reality a wicked person who actually wants a young slave to do her housework. As if that weren’t bad enough, she also ill-treats the little girl, barely feeds her and frequently beats her up and locks her in a room where they dump all their junk. The girl has her school bag and manages to write on the wall, pleading with her Dad and Mom to take her away. Eventually, the girl dies of exhaustion and is left in the room.

Her parents come to visit and the sister-in-law claims the girl is missing, implying she ran away. Police complaints are registered, investigation starts. Gradually, they unearth various clues that bring the truth to light, and the sister-in-law and her husband are arrested.

So easy to sum up in three paras. So heart-breaking to watch. Imagine the actual incident!

There are a number of scary incidents reported, and God knows how many go unreported.

Why, you and I have gone through similar situations as a package deal, Mi. But we were lucky to be bold enough to fight it, get out of it and literally run far away physically, even though the emotional hurt took decades to reach the scar stage, which are mementos to remind me and keep me grounded in reality. That lump in my throat is destined to stay.

Isn’t it time people developed compassion and recognized Human Rights for what it is?

Isn’t it time people stopped tempting the innocent with the promise of two meals they have to sell their souls for?

Modern day slavery must end.

It is time to recognize everyone deserves to be treated as equal.

Especially children. Especially child slavery in India

I was shocked to read the following, Mi, although I shouldn’t really be surprised, I suppose. I know you won’t be, considering how many children you’ve rescued from the slums.

Apparently, every day, according to Walk Free millions of children in India wake up with nothing to look forward to except hours of back-breaking labor. They are employed in stone quarries, carpet factories and rice mills. We also know about the agarbatti factories and the fireworks factories in Sivakasi. 5-year old children who ought to be in school are forced to work 7 days a week and 18 hours a day and end up with crippling injuries, respiratory disorders and chronic pain.

The most painful part is – thanks to being forced into being illiterate and having health problems, they will never really find work when they grow up and become adults. What a vicious cycle of slavery, illiteracy and poverty that traps generations in it.

The good news is, the Indian Parliament is on the verge of declaring a legislation called the “Child and Adolescent Labor Abolition Bill,” which will hopefully put an end to child slavery in India and:

1. Prohibits the employment of children up until 14 years of age,
2. Outlines harsher sentences for violators of child labour laws and
3. Provides for monitoring of suspected instances of child slavery.

Unfortunately, this cannot happen without a demonstration of mass public support. Until this bill is passed, millions of children in India must endure being bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labor and domestic servitude.

Sadly, the Indian Parliament did not pass the Child and Adolescent Labor Abolition Bill during their Monsoon Session in September of this year. Child rights groups in India and the rest of the world are already at work to push this.

Unless there’s mass public support, it cannot happen soon.

Please show your support to end child slavery in India.

Do it here. Do it now.

Protect Human Rights.

 

Dear Readers,

For more information related to Human Rights, please visit:

Shilpa Garg’s post Human Rights

Kajal Kapoor’s post Human Rights

Proactive Indian’s post Do we care about the Human Rights of people in our lives?

Together we can!

Blog Action day 2013 Human Rights

What is Blog Action Day?

Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food and the Power of We, with over 25,000 blogs taking part since 2007.

This year, Blog Action Day is on October 16, 2013 and  focuses on the topic Human Rights.