Kids are kids – or are they?

May 13, 2009

Have you come across young children on Indian roads – either begging or asking for money? Most of us ignore them like we would ignore bugs. Or we would quickly give them money to get rid of them. We don’t really notice that they are little kids, do we?

Then I saw “Born into Brothels” which focused on children of Kolkatta’s red light area. Zana Briski, a photographer who wanted to see Kolkatta through the eyes of these kids. So she handed out cameras and gave a basic training on photography. The documentary follows the progress of these kids and alongside we get a glimpse into their lives. The games they play are just like our kids except they make their toys with spare objects. They are intelligent just like our kids are, sometimes even more so. They love to have fun, after all they are kids. Sadly though, these kids are in a tough place and a very unkind world. They are judged because of their parent’s profession, because they are poor and other unfair reasons. Most of these kids were denied admissions into schools. One school offered to take in kids if they tested negative for HIV and mercifully they were.

Its easy to talk about their problems and feel sorry for them. But is that enough? Most of us are not inclined to social services, so how can we help? Is there a way that we can help? Of course! If we dont want to be nice, atleast be civil. How about if your kid’s school takes in some of these kids? Be kind enough to give the kids a chance to come out of their rut. One way for these people to come out of poverty is if their kids get an education and that is possible if we, the middle class, allow it to happen. If you are in a position to allow them their progress, more power to you! There, so we dont have to lift our finger if we dont want to, but atleast allow progress to happen at its pace.

Lets hope our little world be filled with kids who are happy and healthy. Children are children after all and should be handles with care for they are our future. 🙂

PS: I am too emotional about this subject and so may not be really coherent on this subject. But please do watch the documentary “Born into Brothels” to get an idea about how tough and unsurmountable life is for these little kids.

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6 Responses to “Kids are kids – or are they?”

  1. Preeti Shenoy said

    For two years when i was in India,I volunteered with Akanksha. It wasn’t easy as I had to look after my own two children, had to leave home at 7.30.a.m in the mornings, travel about 45 minutes on really bad roads, and then come back exhausted after the sessions.But the joy and fact that one is making a difference plus the love one gets from these children is amazing. I was angry for a while asking why more people could not do it. Many just waste their time when they can really make a difference–all it takes is a bit of an effort. Then I stopped feeling emotional–it was no use. To each his own. I do my biy–thats all I can say.
    BTW, this is a subject I too feel very strongly about. Since I have worked with Street children,I know. They are very very resilient, very different and it very hard working with them.It’s not like they show in the movies. Foul language, filth, violence etc you have to learn to take in your stride. But the thing is you grow as a person.
    This post of yours touched a raw nerve, as you can see from my comment!
    Cheers
    preeti

  2. Shails said

    I volunteer in an oragnization called AID.Check them out here – aidindia.org.
    I agree with what you write here.It is so easy to just feel sorry and move on -but to do something that is an honour and a duty

  3. Ashwini Shenoy said

    @ Preeti and Shails – The street kids would benefit a lot people like you!! 🙂

  4. chitra said

    Pen is mightier than the sword. Hence your post must be a real eye opener for many.But to be frank I haven’t done any thing other than helping them with money.We should act more including you , me and those around us, then our society will improve and I totally agree with Shails.

  5. Ashwini Shenoy said

    @Chitramausi- Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. Yes, we do too little for these kids for various reasons. But I guess we can extend them our basic courtesy as fellow human beings. It's God's grace that we are lucky to have food, water and loving family. Hence we should always think it could have been us in their place.

  6. savitha said

    I agree so much with you, Ashwini. They are also kids and rightly deserve the whims and fantasies, childhood alone can bring. It’s real pain to see some of these kids being mistreated….It hurts!! Especially, when it comes to kids of sex workers, it is horrible!! Most of their parents, themselves, do not know the ethics of language and the essence of childhood…Leave alone them, the common man looks down on these children, as if they committed a grave sin…The truth is:All these children are victims of chance, and none of them, given a choice, would want to be what they are!! Words fail me, I am very sensitive on issues with kids…It hurts…..

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