The other day I happened to meet a friend who has recently shifted to the “City of Dreams” – Mumbai. I was expecting an answer like-“MuMbAi RoCkZ”, when I asked her how she felt about being a “Mumbaikar”.
To my astonishment, she said she did not like Mumbai much. Well, this was least expected. C’mon yaar, its Mumbai!!- Where people throng to live. And here, this is what I hear. When I asked for an explanation, she said she couldn’t hold the sight of the extreme “Child Labor”. Ok, now I was dumb-struck. I didn’t have much to defend. With some casual talks, I left the scene.
This incident never left me. It kept haunting me again and again. Although being a Mumbaikar for nearly 20 years, I had never thought of this so much.
“It is not that my eyes ceased to see those little kids on the highway, begging. I had also seen those small babies being carried by young girls on the local trains, again begging.
When the night fell, I had seen those kids retiring after the heavy day- resting on the pavement or under those highways or more recently sky-walks. But I had never thought about them, thought before what could I do. This continued day after day, month after month, and is still continuing year after year.
I am sure you, being in whichever part of India would have witnessed this too, like me. Have you ever thought what could you do???”
I have seen many people joining the NGO’s in the name of doing something for them. And have of-course seen their names and photos in the newspapers- again in the name of “doing something”. However, the scene I see on the roads even today has not changed. I am in here to not criticize anybody, but think for a moment- what have you done for them???
The other day, as I boarded a local train to go to Belapur (a place in Mumbai), I was shocked when a small girl (in her 7th grade, may be), approached me saying, “yeh lo didi! Paach rupiya ke liye..baarish ka mausam hai na..lejiye aapka mobile ke liye.” (Buy this sister, its for five rupees, since it is rainy season, you can use it for your mobile). Well, it was a mobile cover that she was trying to sell to me. And to add more to it, she was in her school uniform, may be returning from her school. I looked at those innocent eyes, in that I saw a dream- the Future India. By now, the incident I had with my friend flashed back to me, and in no time I could find tears welled up in my eyes. I hate to be emotional, but I am sure if you were in my place, you would do the same. This is just one, my dear friend, there are millions more, waiting for you to stretch you helping hand. It need not be money, it’s the moral support, awareness and guidance they need.
Now, as I sat looking outside the window of the 15.23 CST-Belapur local train, I remembered something. Ever since I was in school, I always in my pledge said-“All Indians are my brothers and sisters”. Now I thought, about how much I ever thought about those kids on street in my life-my brothers and sisters. And yours too!!! 🙂
You might have heard such talks from many before, maybe mostly from politicians. But I am not someone like that here. I am no politician for your votes, or someone working in an NGO. I am just like you, also like that girl selling mobile pouches- an Indian. 🙂
I appreciate you for having read so long, spending your precious time. And I am sure you have a thought now in your mind, anything, I do not know. That is what I want hear. Please leave a comment on what you feel or most importantly what you feel as an ordinary Indian, what you would wish to do to address the situation. We all are busy, studying, some working, some married. But please take a moment more, and say what you feel can be done, for your brothers and sisters. 🙂
Remember, your one thought may change someone’s life, or to say, many lives, and the facet of this country. 🙂
Aishwarya S 🙂