Sunday Opinion by Kunal Roy

Children of A Lesser God

It is the darkness which leads you to them. But it is not in the lanes and bylanes of the city of joy where at times you can hear the strains of the popular Hindi melodies or cover your olfactory organs to eschew the pungent smell of urine! The shabby cloth worn little, unfortunate kids can be seen in the public transport especially in bus and train either in the wee hours of the morning or the late afternoon and seldom in the evening!
As one boards the bus or train, sits comfortably and manages to concentrate on some personal work, such children get inside the public transport, sing the songs of 80s and 90s using a pair of amorphous stones, much to the dismay of the passengers! The motto is to beg and earn to live the day. Surprisingly, a handful give them the alms and the rest refuse blatantly or shout at them for touching their shoulders or backs! The dishevelled hair, the tattered attire, the bare feet and a hoarse voice weave a new tale of poverty and compulsion. It seems as if they really enjoy this assignment and therefore unwilling to do some other kind of work which might raise their standard of living! Little later the conductor literally forces them to leave the bus for the sake of the passengers’ safety and security! Ipso facto a routine feature which tarnishes the image of this city life. A lack of concern and care has pushed them into such a state where such innocent souls have no other path to opt for!
“Are they really born to die?” There is certainly no apt answer to this priceless question. Life of them stands in no comparison with that of those fellows who eke out their living by means of flesh trade! But both of them suffer deceit and humiliation without any tinge of doubt. Both suffer an inhuman torture .Both struggle to find a place in the society. Both desire to live like us. But who will bell the cat? After all not the regime but the people like us can move for them. Indeed the time has ripened to do something better for them, else the “light” of tomorrow will surely extinguish imperceptibly!!
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