About Me

My photo

Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

90,000 children go missing in India every year!

It is amazing. Over 90000 children  go missing in India through abduction, kidnapping, allurements etc. Many of them sold in forced labour on farms and factories. Globally, trafficking of children for forced labour and sexual exploitation remain a "largely hidden crime" says the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with no reliable data even existing on the scale of the problem. The ILO makes a "conservative estimate"  that 5.5 million children around the the world are trapped in forced labour, but in India alone the government uses estimates of five million to 12 million children forced to work.

Sadly such social evil are ignored by the mainstream media in India by and large! The general media trend of giving primacy in coverage to life style and leisure over livelihood issues, sex surveys' over falling sex ratio, and the socialist concern over social issue, thanks to the neoliberalism and imperialism and their impact ON the ground, literally and figuratively Apart from that general trend among elite classes , particularly politicians, has to sideline increasing poverty and welfare issues to ameliorate the condition of poor in India! Significantly, poverty in India is defined in terms of food and their intake availability norm: People unable to access2, 100 calories a person a day in urban India and 2,200 calories a person a day in rural India (initially 2,400 but late rescaled down ) are counted "poor" in India. By this criterion, the percentage  of "poor" in urban India, in rounded figures were 57,65, 73 respectively in 1993-94, 2004-2005 and 2009-10: and in rural India 59, 70, 76 respectively ( by Utsa Patnaik from basic consumption and nutritional intake data provided in the National Sample Survey (NSS) for these years). Thus, over 73 percent of people , who are not getting prescribed calorie intake, are under the bracket of poor both in urban and rural  India by and large. More over the union government is more concerned about GDP growth-during the same period when GDP growth rate was unprecedented, around eight percent, absolute poverty increased in the country!

I though to bring to the attention of the readers and people over such deplorable scenes in the country, before going through in detail over children trafficking in the country. Such practises have taken alarming proportion in India. The Washington Post has in a recent article has threw light ion child trafficking in India and I feel strongly that this should be an eye opener for both print and electronic media to pay more attention on welfare measures to uplift poor in the country than to sway their pens in highlighting neoliberal model in the country. What has gone wrong with our "Swadeshi model and socialistic pattern of society"?

The Washington Post has based its article on the basis of children's rights group Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which showed the problem was far greater that previously thought. The Andolan has compiled the data and released late last year, which has said that 90,000 children are officially reported missing every year. "up to ten times that number are trafficked, according to group-boys and girls, most of the poor families, torn from their parents, some times in return for cash, and forced to beg or work in the farms, factories and homes, or sold for sex and marriages," the Washington Post report said  adding  that it is an epidemic that until a few years ago, remained unreported and largely ignored by the authorities!

But years of tireless work by activists, a few crucial victories in court-and the shocking discovery of the bones of 17 slain girls and young women around a businessman's house in a suburb of New Delhi called Nithari in 2006-have gradually push the issue on national  agenda.. The media frenzy surrounding the Nithari killings was a watershed, reminiscent of the way the disappearance of Etan Patz in Manhattan in 1979 helped spark the missing-children's movement in the United States, the Washington Post commented.

Sadly in recent times, footage from surveillance cameras-a new phenomenon in modern India-has also repeatedly broadcast on television here, showing infants being brazenly snatched from train stations and hospital lobbies as parents slept nearby."A couple of decades  ago, there was no understanding of the issue of missing children or trafficking for forced labour--child labour was not even considered a crime" said Bhuwan Ribbu., an activist for children's right group. "Though things are slowly changing, the biggest issue is the lack of political and administrative will to enforce the law, which is  often outside the reach of the common person."

The Washington Post report has further said that In India and many other developing countries, children often work in agriculture. What is only now becoming apparent is the huge trafficking industry that has grown up outside the law. The sad tale  of Irfan, a resident of Nangloi district of Delhi, son of ,Iqbal Ali,   abducted and subsequently recovered after a long time and six-year son of a rickshaw puller from Patna town are tips in the iceberg of children trafficking in India.

Thus kidnapping represents just the tip of the iceberg of a vast child-trafficking industry in India. Many young children are sold by their parents or enticed from them with the promise that they will be looked after and be able to send money home. Never registered as missing, many simply lose touch with their parents, working long hours in garment factories or making cheap jewelry. On a recent raid with activists and police in a mohalla in Delhi, 36 children were rescued from a series of tiny rooms where they were making bangles for 10 hours, some for just $4 a month. One of them was a Patna boy.

Only recently, The Union Government has proposed a blanket ban on the employment of children younger that 14, building on a new law that established a child's right to education until that age. Activists have hailed the proposal, which now needs Parliament's approval., as a major step forward, but warned that enforcement will remain a significant challenge. However, parents of several missing children in the past month have grievances of their own-they complained that that they received little or no help from the police, largely, they said, because they were poor.."The police are very cold. They just keep saying: a lot of kids are missing.What can we do?, said Kanwar Pal (48), whose son Ravi, was missing when he was only twelve years old about two years ago. after going to  ride  bicycles in a Delhi locality. May be if I had money to pay a bribe they would have found my my kid."

Nearly 450,000 cases of children trafficked for labour were reported in the past three years, but prosecution were launched in just 25,000 of those cases and 3,394 employers were convicted, official figure show. Even the US State government has given left handed compliments to Indian government by saying that India is "making significant efforts" to comply with minimum global standards for the elimination of trafficking but notes challenges and the "alleged complicity of public officials in human trafficking".

No comments:

Post a Comment