Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making a Difference

I’ve always believed that each one of, us no matter how affluent or broke, how busy or jobless we are, have it in us to make this happen. Before you begin to wonder about what I’d say to make a difference to the society, please note that there are many out there who could do mighty great with just a little help from our part.

Honestly, I wanted to do something worthwhile during my semester break. An internship with an NGO was definitely on my mind, but I never thought I would land up as an intern this quickly, but I sure am glad it did, and I’m grateful to U&I for the same. “U&I” is much more than just an NGO where it’s all work and work up to a point where everything just gets plain monotonous. I realized this on the very first day of my internship, (though I haven’t been turning up at office quite regularly).

Children, as most of us are aware, are lively, crazy and perhaps one of the most beautiful creatures on Planet Earth ( or at least I’d like to believe it to be that way) . They have this unique aura around them which is truly inexplicable until you get close to them, that is. I’m not necessarily a great child lover. In fact, the noisy, hyper active ones could be horribly difficult to be around with, I agree.I mean it. So kudos to all those volunteers who actually go through the regular process of teaching English and computer classes to this group of wonderful kids - I honestly think you're brilliant! "U&I” taught me, and has made me realize that I must thank God for the normalcy I have in my life. Yes, not everyone around is as lucky as we are, and somewhere down the line we all know it although we don’t acknowledge it on a daily basis. If we all did, we all would have surely made a difference and the world would have been a much better place for everyone. But wait, I’m not getting into that for that is not the aim of the blog. I just want to make you see what I see,is all.

Volunteering is a great thing - Interning ,even better. I mean, wouldn’t you want to get an insight into how people who are perhaps just half our age struggle with their day-to-day living? And isn't it amazing how just a little active participation from each one of us (even you, since you’re reading this) could indeed make a difference to all these wonderful beings that deserve a life as convenient and full of opportunities like ours?

It’s not difficult. I realized it.

So if you're ready for a memorable experience,you certainly know where to head!=)

Think ahead. Think different ; for you too could make a difference!

On this note,here's wishing you a abso-flippin'-utely Happy New Year!

-Pooja Prabhan


While I was walking down this street all by myself,
I met this kid, who came running towards me,
Initially I thought he was scared by the dog that was chasing him
But there was more to it,
On further questioning this kid told me that he was running away from his master’s place,
A place where he was forced to work.
A place where they’d beat him up and burn him when he asked for food.
This poor little kid was 7 years old,
His mother died long ago,
His father was a drunkard, a man who no kid would want to call his own.
He was scared, thirsty and hungry as hell.
Just then I took him to this place where he could eat and quench his thrist ,
He never let my hand go free.
He held it with force, he was scared, that poor soul.
He cried and insisted me to take him to a place where he’ll feel safe,
A place where his master could never find him
He was horrified, how can a man be so rude to a 7 year old?
This kid made me cry.

Studies & various reports quote:

Child labour is a concrete manifestation of violations of a range of rights of children and is recognised as a serious and enormously complex social problem in India. Working children are denied their right to survival and development, education, leisure and play, and adequate standard of living, opportunity for developing personality, talents, mental and physical abilities, and protection from abuse and neglect. Notwithstanding the increase in the enrolment of children in elementary schools and increase in literacy rates since 1980s, child labour continues to be a significant phenomenon in India.
Concerned about the future of its children India has implemented a country- wide ban recently, on children below fourteen working in the hospitality sector and as domestics. It is intended that those who are found to violate the law will be fined with 430 dollars and sent into rigorous imprisonment for two years. Children in India are not allowed to work in mines, factories and other hazardous jobs already. Two more professions have been added in a list of fifty seven occupations which were considered hazardous for a child’s development needs in the ‘child labour act’ passed in 1986.Childs rights activists are waxing eloquent in high pitched voices about the absolute importance of stopping child labour. But legislation in this regard is just like an intention. It is more important to take development measures to ensure its practical application by eliminating the reasons of child labour from our society. The reasons giving birth to child labour are poverty, illiteracy, scarcity of schools, ignorance, socially regressive practices, blind customs and traditions, migration and last but not the least corruption amongst employees and government labour organizations. People should not be able to get away with employing and exploiting children.

-Purvasha Mansharamani