By Vivek Kumar:
It was a dusky evening. The humidity had occupied every nook and corner of my room. I was sweating profusely, so I decided to go out for a stroll and revitalize myself with fresh air. I had just walked 500 meters from my home when I saw a haphazard crowd looking at something with great attention.
I was also fascinated towards that crowd, as a result I came forward to have a look. There, I saw an eight to ten year old girl wearing shabby clothes, standing on a rope with a bamboo in her hand and performing some acrobatic art very swiftly and elegantly. She was dancing to the tune of her mother’s drum beat who was seated on the ground. She was the cynosure of all eyes. A single mistake in her move could be fatal but the manner in which she balanced herself was quite spectacular. When I tried to look inside her eyes, all I could find was a sea of fear.
The way she performed every move of that art made me feel that she was no longer a child, rather a veteran of acrobatics. She did all this to manage the bread and butter for her family and herself. When her show got over, she started asking for money to each person watching her show, and when she came to me, I gave her 5 rupees. But, a quick look at her bowl made me feel that her collected money was not enough for even a single meal. My heart melted and the very next moment I put 10 rupees in her bowl.
It appeared like nobody had put anything into her bowl. Everyone came and went after watching her show. Later I thought of how callous (hard-hearted) people have become in this pragmatic world, by not even paying respect to that little child artist who wages a battle every day by performing life-threatening and strenuous deeds to earn only a few coins. Had the people placed their child in that girl’s place then they could have analysed the real sufferings and pain of that little artist.
Although, our government has introduced a plethora of schemes to stop child labour and physical harassment in any form but all this work is only on paper. Here the culprit is her family who stripped the child of her childhood. I request people to help eradicate such malpractices from society. A good start would be by teaching those parents about the negative aspect of earning money with the help of their child.