While travelling to Guwahati from Burdwan through Secunderabad Kamakhya Special Express, a very shameful scene happened before our eyes. A family travelling in our compartment was throwing packets of eatables beneath the berth. Meanwhile, a child, hardly 10-years-old and with a mop in his hand, started dusting the entire compartment. It was so disheartening to see this kid, who deserves to hold a pencil, cleaning litter. After he finished his work, he extended his palms towards us and asked for money.
The family sitting nearby also had two children, but they completely ignored the innocent child. No doubt, this family of ‘educated hypocrites’ was the prime culprit behind all the litter in the compartment. We somehow gave the child some money as we did not find any alternative while we were in the running train. Before we could talk any further, he happily went away. Child labour and begging are very common in railway stations. The condition of children is pathetic over there. Some of them continue to beg while some start doing filthy jobs to fill their stomach.
Can we afford to see our future leaders like this? Can we really bear this injustice? It is a request to all of the concerned authorities to build schools near every railway station where these children can avail education. It is also a request to generate employment opportunities within the station for their parents, who might also be engaged in begging. At least, they can work there to feed themselves. Cases of poverty and child labour are widespread in these railway stations. To bring about a change, the railway authorities, with the help of social workers and the government, must take steps to eradicate this issue.