By Ziya Qureshi:
Yesterday I was boarding a train from the old Delhi railway station to my home town. It took me around ten minutes to find my train and then my seat.
Well there was nothing new to see among those beggars and children who were hunting for bottles and plastic at the platform but one unusual thing that I noticed in that crowded arena is that each child with that big bag of bottles at their back present over there was carrying a handkerchief in his hand. I was amused to see that but then I then it struck me weirdly because they were inhaling it after every minute. I was also aware of the techniques of intoxication.
Yes, I was right, they also had a tube in their pocket (a tube of sticky mixture which is enough to make you high if you inhale it long enough). That is something tat is easily destructive. Those children were barely six or seven years of age and the kind of intoxication they were using could destroy their lives. They should be having lollipops and chocolates in their hands, not a bundle of bidis in their pockets.
It was upsetting and the kind of tomorrow that India is aiming for is definitely at stake with these kind of practices. Is it mistake of their parents or the government or is it our mistake.
We lead luxurious lives that we have earned or we have received. Sometimes we share a very small part of our earnings with this unnoticed part of the society and we think that we have done our part. Well that’s not enough, giving money to these children is somehow leading them toward dependency. Giving a few coins is not the solution, rather understanding their need is important. If he is hungry, buy him a burger, it will make his day; if his clothes are dirty, give your old t-shirt to him, he will use it for years. It’s not asking for too much. A handkerchief in their hand is not the thing they should be holding when it’s the age to be holding a pencil and a notebook.
We should try to do something to stop these kids from this dark path of intoxication.