Monday, June 15, 2015

Child Labour And Poverty


Dear Nobel winner,

If you would take a few minutes to open up your 'intellectual' mind and consider the things happening around you (and not just focus on your activism bullshit), you would become aware of the reality.

We are not talking about aspirations here. No one is saying that X or Y can not aspire to be an Engineer or Doctor. We are not talking about theories or bestselling books or a Nobel prize winner's speech. We are asking you to look at the ground reality.

The real time PRIORITY for a homeless person living on the road is NOT signing his / her own name. Shocking as it may seem to you, the real time priority is not to become a doctor / engineer / mba or acquire a PHD. The real time priority is to be able to eat at least SOMETHING once a day. The next priority after feeding oneself is to be able to get some shelter from the sun / rain. Basically, to get off the bloody footpath and survive another day.

It is in pursuit of THESE real time priorities that children AND adults are picking up ANY activity that assures them some cash. They don't engage in rag-picking because it's their hobby or because they enjoy it. They are willing to do just about any work (construction site, rag pickers, hawkers, domestic chores, waiters), with the aim of survival and hopefully some day move away from that footpath, even if it is a make shift shack with a tin roof.

This isn't rocket science or an unnecessarily complicated economic theory. This isn't abstract algebra or calculus. It's the reality which would be visible to just about anyone with basic common sense. The unfortunate children who haven't had the advantage of a formal education - the children who you are fighting for - are able to understand this without the benefit of schooling. Evidently, EDUCATION isn't dependent on schooling. YOU, on the other hand are a specimen that confirms the observation that SCHOOLING can not guarantee an education.

If your aim is to put every child in a school, then it would help (immensely) if you stop focussing on the issue in isolation. You can NOT solve this problem by compartmentalising it. You need to address the situation in its entirety. These aren't mutually exclusive events. Once you (or your NGO or the government or a divine being or a benefactor or hard work or dumb luck) guarantees the BASIC food and shelter requirements, THEN and ONLY THEN will you be able to IMPOSE your schooling arguments.

Do you understand that or is that too high funda for your intellectual Nobel prize winning brain?

How is this for a POLICY decision / suggestion / proposal? Pay the kids (or the family) a comparable daily wage for every child attending school? That's ONE way of working things out.

Socho tou kehne ko bahut kuchch hai. Samjho tou … kehne ko kuchch bhi nahin.

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