International Anti-Child Labour Day: Regaining Childhood
Updated: Jun 12
It needs no reiteration that, one of the greatest pillars of Bindu Smart is 'Kuhi-Mel' - which consistently strives to create spaces, resources as well as access to the holistic development of the child - mentally, physically, socially and of course, emotionally.
While India battles through the ravaging pandemic, activities, the regular meets and classes had to take a back-seat at 'Kuhi-Mel' - after all, safety & observance of all rules is a priority too.
However, every volunteer at Bindu Smart, took this time to reach out individually, in smaller numbers than usual, and paid home-visits (for distribution of sanitisation kits) and took on batches of two-three children for personalised classes - as we all know, that the children of destitutes were most impacted by the sudden upheaval of the ecosystem - who were left without phones, without internet facility.
On the occasion of 'Anti-Child Labour Day', despite the dire circumstances, the kids donned their best acting faces, and played out what was their second act for this day, in a row. The play is named endearingly as, "Dreams will take Flight" or, "সপোনে মেলিব পাহ"।
Following all necessary protocol & more, this play was an attempt to create a space for the children - to express themselves, as freely as they could and as freely as they wished to - at Bindu Smart, no child goes away thinking that childhood is a luxury.
The unfortunate thing however is, they did not need to "act" out the scenes of a child labour, nor did they need to act out the perils of such a life -- for they were used to it, it is their daily reality. When the parent spends their wages on alcohol, Bindu Smart lends the child a pencil; when the people try to recruit them for petty wages, Bindu Smart lends the children a voice
And we think it's worth it, as the children still think they can dream.
এতিয়াও সপোন পুহি ৰাখিছে সিহঁতে ডাঙৰ মানুহ হোৱাৰ সপোন।
But it leaves a few pestering questions in our minds, that with limited resources, how do these children - the most vulnerable in our society, secure a future for themselves? Is their future limited to washing utensils instead of a pen? Should they be reduced to hardened hands and hardened minds because the society thinks labour should be cheap?
Until next time...