Sunday 3 September 2017

The Little Boy At The Signal Who Still Wakes Me Up In The middle Of Night ( #FoodForThought Series Vol12)

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It was the auspicious day of Teej and I was brimming with happiness, clad in a breathtakingly beautiful gold and navy blue lehenga and with Arabic Mehndi Designs adorning both my hands. The husband was driving me to the temple to donate the 'Suhag ka Saaman' as per the tradition goes after we completed the prayers and the mandatory photo shoot.

Not very far away from my home, it was when we were stuck at a red light at the Kalevadi Crossing in Wakad, my eyes fell of a little boy begging at the signal. A glance at him made me feel a staunch pain  in my heart and I shifted in extreme discomfort. A third of his upper lip has been mutilated completely at the centre making his teeth which ran into his nose visible. The wounds haven't even healed properly. The pain has made his eyes blood red and hunger undoubtedly would have only accentuated his agony. I went numb and could hear my heat sob.

It is so heart wrenching for me to even write this. I asked S to give me some money for him as I have not cared to carry my wallet, but he said giving him more money meant he would be further tortured by his masters as worsening his wounds would only multiply their income. I was heartbroken but got down from the car and made him eat to his heart's content at a nearby eatery. At first he doubted my intentions perhaps because he has lost all faith in humanity and rightly so for that's the experience we the world have given him at such a tender age.

I asked him a lot of questions but he did not speak once, not sure if he was speech impaired but he carried an expressionless look. After eating he swiftly left the spot but his image which got imprinted on my mind, left me restless and still wakes me up in the middle of the night.

I went to see him again the next day, but he was not there. I asked the nearby people and they told that that beggars are rotated frequently. I cursed first myself for letting him go that day and then the perpetrators of such inhuman crimes on the softest and the most precious souls of the universe, the innocent little buds. But is this cursing enough? What respite would my cursing bring to the little boy whose name too is unknown and if by God's grace someone rescues him what about the thousands of other children who have fallen prey to this cruel racket of child trafficking having its roots deep in the Indian society. Will the future of the rescued child be safe in child care homes if he could not be reunited with his parents, or will he subjected to some other form of abuse. The whole situation feels like a vicious trap.

Can't we just ban begging altogether in India, anyone seen begging will be arrested and put behind bars and necessary action initiated. Will this way, we 'll be able to reduce the number of times this heinous crime is committed because the source of income for the racketeers would be reduced to zero. I don't know, but I literally seek a solution to this. I am ready to do whatever but I will be needed to do but is someone listening? We need to put an end to this...Modiji???? Till then that bleeding hungary little boy at the signal will keep waking me up in the middle of nights.

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