Monday, November 14, 2005

Some children's day

"Akka,tomorrow is a holiday.We only have to go to school and eat chocolates!!!" 4 yr old nephew screamed into my ears on the lazy Sunday afternoon of November 13th."Really? do you know why you are given a holiday" was what I wanted to know. To which he gaily proclaimed "Yeah! tomorrow is some children's day"...If you have had a similar experience with a tiny tot, don't brush it aside as a less important statement. In a way the child had something very important to convey.

For most of us living in the plush apartments, caught up in the web of our own duties in personal and professional lives, days like 14th November would be 'some children's day'.But the sad part is, it is indeed 'some' children's day since just a privileged few like my nephew get to celebrate this day.For other less-fortunate children it's just any other day, with a monotonous routine that begins with supplying milk to houses or selling newspapers or cleaning cars, not being able to go to school, giving up on the pleasures of childhood because they also have to work to lend a helping hand in supporting the family.

My maid servant has an 8yr old girl Anjana* who went to school for a year or two after which she had to quit because of financial constraints thanks to my maid's single mother status.When one enquires about the plans she harbours for the kid she replies in her trademark flat tone, "Ayyo leave it kutti.People like me can't afford to have 'plans' for their children.Even she will have to take up a job like me and fend for herself". Whats more she has even started searching for a job for the girl and has begun fretting over the fact that her neighbour Kamalamma's* 7 yr old son has already begun to work.She also cribs over her shaky fate that gave her a daughter who can't work as efficiently as a son would.

There are a good number of such people for whom children's day has no such importance or relevance.To them, it marks another addition to their usual working day. Not that one can blame them...When the mother is fighting hard to make ends meet, she can't be expected to know the significance of such a day.When I visited my maid servant's locality last year on this very date to distribute chocolates, I met a bunch of kids who wanted to know how I used to celebrate this day as a kid.And I told them about the different cultural activities and competitions we used to have.A boy, around 13 yrs of age, looked at me with those faraway look in the eyes and said, "Even I see all that in the nearby school where my mom is an aaya( servant ).They won't let me in because I'm dirty and my dad does'nt have a car.But one day I'm going to have one and then I can go there....can't I akka?"

Well, I could only nod in approval. Irrespective of however harsh the reality is, I'm really counting on that boy to make it big and own a car.My eyes were moist that day.Maybe due to the cold breeze that kept stinging my face or maybe something else.....

The message we can derive out of this is bold and clear.We need not go totally out of our way to make life comfortable for these children.But a little bit of compassion and love we give them on this day and whenever we can, will put a smile on those love-lorn, pre-maturely aged lips. And that, to me, is a day well lived.

Photo courtesy: Google


At 9:42 AM, Blogger Swaroop C H said...

Well said.

You might be interested to read about Parikrma:

- Swaroop

At 2:53 AM, Blogger preethi said...

hi vineetha a good one da!

Hope u take me to kamalamma so that i can give her a piece of my mind!!!!!! :)
jokes apart!!

ur article had thrown some light into the lives of these under previleged children who realy need some help to live their dreams!!!!

god that such a thought has rised in our minds!!!!

It would be more helpful to these children if we dont just stop here by raising concerns for them but get together and do something possible that would improve their lives in some way or the other.

At 3:14 AM, Blogger VineethaAthrey said...

Well...I know Priti, u meant 'good' and not 'god'.So don't kill urself in embarassment...I know u r the kind who would!!!


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