While zooming through cities, have you ever come across tent housings spread near construction sites? Ever wondered about the lives of those people? In the early mornings, small naked kids can be seen scuttling about those tents and other kids not yet in their teens are seen doing odd chores like fetching water and blowing into the firewood in a hearth outside the tent.
I used to wait for my office cab right next to one such housing tent in Bangalore. There used to stand a big black pot on their hearth every day. I wondered what would be cooking in there, rice or maybe it was just a pot of boiling water. At the beginning, I used to buy some snacks from the nearby bakery and give to those kids but as days went by, I could not stop myself from thinking about the hassles in their lives. Soon after I noticed that on my way to office there were a dozen such establishments with quite a number kids running around aimlessly.
In conversation with them and after a bit of research I came to know that these tent dwellers were basically nomadic laborers coming from different parts of the country in search of work, specifically works at construction sites. They moved about along with their families and almost all the family members including the ladies were involved in the construction works. The sight of the barely clad kids, their dirty hands, messy nose and malnourished features made me question myself as to what possible future these children held in front of them!
These kids finally ended up carrying on their parent’s legacy of becoming a nomadic laborer. It pained me somewhere deep to hear that the kids had nothing to inspire them to be anybody different because their driving forces were only poverty and hunger which pushed them ahead, blindly, to work as a laborer. Another important factor in mis-shaping their future was lack of education. Coming from a nomadic family they could hardly think of getting admitted into any school. I am talking about government run schools because private schools are out of their economical jurisdiction. Now even if they planned to go to school, there was a major drawback in terms of communication. The medium of communication in most of the government schools is the regional language. These kids from different states would find it difficult to understand it and even if they ended up learning the language there would soon come a time for them to leave the place, probably move to a different state. What then?
What could be the possible solution for this? Is it enough only for me as an individual to get enlightened about the problem of these kids or does the higher authority of the country need to ponder on this and try to come up with solutions befitting the lives of these underprivileged kids?
As humans, we all have the right to live and to live well! Kid of a laborer need not end up becoming a laborer! The biggest humor lies in the fact that for the extent of physical labor these workers do, they need the utmost nourishment but as a matter of fact, they are the ones least nourished! It’s time to open our eyes and look around, humanity is dying a slow, chocking death.