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Dark truth about Child labour and its help lines
Last weekend, while visiting Inorbit Mall at Vashi for a brief recreation, I spotted a little girl around 6-7 years carrying a baby around 4-5 months begging for money at every window of cars that were waiting in queue to get inside the mall parking lot.
When she did the same near my window, as usual, I gave her some money. But what hurt me was it was a cold rainy evening as every now and then it was raining and the girl was almost bare. I hated the girl's parents for their cruelty towards the little baby.

I'm well aware with the realism that the parents of these children make them look as miserable as possible so that they can generate more sympathy in people. And more sympathy means more money. But still I felt these children should have some more mercy. 

Next day I called up at 1098 - child help line number and enquired if they help out children begging, particularly when parents make them do so after briefing the previous day incident.

I was delighted with the response as the lady on phone told me that whenever a case of violation of Child right brought unto their notice they take swift action. They visit the place within an hour to spot the child. They take steps as per the severity. In the above case they would first counsel the parents to send the child to school. Later, she asked me to be their eye and give them a call if I spot a child whose rights are violated striking my sensitivity as a human.

After two days again I spotted two boys (10-12 years) selling flower saplings near my society. I called up 1098 again. A man on the other end picked up the phone, listened to me and after a while said that they won't act as they have no office at Vashi.

But I was eager to find if any organization really wants to stop child right violation in any form. One of my friends suggested trying out at MSCPCR - The Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

I called up their number, and enquired how would they help out children like the above cases. However I was a bit surprised to hear what they said - they don't act on these cases. I thought I should contact CWC (Child Welfare Committee). I tried the number 1091 for child helpline that was blinking in the website of CWC, but again I was surprised with the message on the other end "Pls check the number you have dialed".

I was almost done as I felt I was moving around a virtual loop. There is nothing on the ground for a common citizen to help out children in need other than lending out a sympathetic heart with some immediate money.

However I tried to find out people in my area who work in this line. I got a number of a Good Samaritan who is working for suicide prevention with an Organization. Finally I got to the reality as I talked to him. He made me understand some harsh reality.

First - if a child works at any place (a violation of its right in any term) it is not considered as a problem till the child is not wounded/abused seriously. That means only serious cases are taken into immediate notice i.e. after having gone through severe crime only a case is worth to be considered.

Second - it is not physically possible to send every child to schools given to the fact that there are poor numbers of schools to accommodate all children and pitiable infrastructure of the government schools as well.

Third - there is no guarantee of safety and security from future abuse even if a child is rescued and sent to a rehab centre.

If anybody wants to help...it is completely on his/her own prerogative to find out the way within his/her reach. It is futile to expect for an easy way out or looking forward to any government organization courtesy their virtual existence.

I always feel child labour in any form is not only inhuman but also it amounts to either "making of a future criminal" or "a future victim of a serious crime" in many cases. Now I understood why such cruel things always exist in the society that contains reasonably good and sensitive people.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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