“Halwa every day at the aanganwadi“. This was the answer given by a kid when she was asked about her wish. Her name was Asha , a seven year old girl who was/is begging outside the Palace of Rani Roopmati in Mandu, a popular tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh with 48 historical monuments and an ancient love story.
Asha chatted away about her life. No, she goes to school only in afternoon and only for mi day meals , doesn’t know what ice-cream is and has not watched a film in a theater. She giggles at the name of Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, but can’t recall the name of a single film. She still begs around the monuments because foreign tourists give her good goolis (toys), pens, money and chocolates.
Everyday at noon, she stands in the queue at the aanganwadi for the mid-day meal. “They give us dalia, roti-sabji (roti and vegetables) and halwa (a sweet dish) once a week,’’ she says, waving flies away from a face covered with fungal infection. “I go for the food but don’t like school.’’ Asha dreams of having halwa everyday.
This little girl has practically taken charge of her own life. Her mother goes to earn a living while the father drinks all day long. She knows the exact time when to go to the aanganwadi for her lunch and then begs for that extra something she gets from tourists. A responsible kid. 🙂
This would be the status of almost all the kids begging in front of temples , tourist places etc., What would be the reason for these things…may be the irresponsible parents , irresponsible society, economy of the district, poor politics etc., but whatever may be the reason..finally the kid was affected and the hole childhood was ruined and the childishness was destroyed.
I don’t want these kids to become a doctor, scientist , IAS officer etc., but still wanted their childhood back to them and the childishness to be with them at this age. Let them fight with the life or struggle with life at the certain age and not at this age.
Only Few things affects my mind in deep. One among those is child labor/begging. Working closely on this issue to give back the childhood at least for few kids. Hope for the best.
ps:- source from Times of India , 12th July 2009 ed.