Random Musings: Securing The Future
On Apr 01, 2016
“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.”
- Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General
Act 1, Scene 1: A construction site in the heart of the city. A boy moves around cleaning the debris. He is certainly from one of the northern states, among the many who tries to earn a humble living for their family back home. Someone asked him how old he is and he smartly whisked away saying that he has got work to do. Definitely he has come to sustain his family and so does many of his friends.
Act 2, Scene 1: A Skoda smoothly moves ahead, with the driver listening to the FM music and the RJ’s talk. As part of one of his gyan, the RJ narrates an incident that happened in the outskirts of a cosmopolitan city in which the cash and jewellery from a family was snatched by a group of robbers at night. Upon investigation, a group of 4-5 juveniles were arrested for the crime.
These two events although completely different in narrative, definitely strikes a tone somewhere inside. Both of them reflect the harsh and imminent realities that the society needs to address to enable a growing generation. On one side, we have a group who works hard to feed their family and on the other side, another group who doesn’t know what they are doing. In both these instances, they should be in schools, learning and growing up to be credible citizens.
Knowledge through the medium of a robust education system holds the key. There are labour laws to control child labour and laws including “Right to Education” to make them educated. But how about their implementation?
Laws cannot be self-sustainable in itself without the backing of a social conviction. Among all these laws, what we need fundamentally is a direction to eradicate poverty. More than the affordability of education, it is the living conditions of a family that forces the children to be earning members. Many families question the need for education when there is an empty stomach to be fed and survival is in jeopardy. The perils of poverty restrict the vision towards larger benefits of education (knowledge). We ourselves can spot a number of kids who go to school in the morning and then labour hard in the afternoon. With all the pressure of handling their family's prospects, are these kids in a position to learn and grow?
Nobel Prize for Kailash Satyarthi, highlighted the attention on child labour in public domain, mainly on account of the good work he has been doing in this area. Schemes like sponsor a child can definitely help to enable families to send their kids to school. Government funded schools shouldn’t just be namesake education centers, instead should be centers of quality education with world class facilities. There needs to be counselling centers which can support the kids in need or distress without any prejudice or bias. More scholarships should be instituted to support the education needs and existing scholarships should have better coverage that is beneficial to the needy. Along with all these measures and more, the right enforcement of laws can ensure success in the long term. There should be zero tolerance towards issues like child trafficking and the society along with government agencies need to take a strong stand against it.
If the kids are not exposed to violence at home and outside, if they are given a peaceful, safe and stable environment, if they are provided with quality education, if they have essential support systems to secure a sustainable future… they will have a different story to reveal, creativity that can bring to fore their abilities for the betterment of the society. But these ifs still remain, and remains with no clear solution at sight. Until then all of these not so good stories will still continue to haunt!
“Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents. It is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world. We must not be the generation responsible for irreversibly damaging the environment.”- Richard Branson
Vishnu R G
Vishnu is from Trivandrum, works with a leading MNC and is an avid reader with a passion for literature and arts.