The Child is the father of the Man. The import of these profound words by William Wordsworth in one of his poems couldn't hold truer than they do now.
The brutal murder of 10-year old Moin by his employer in the capital of Incredible India should shock us out our daydreams, not just days after it occurred but for all times to come. Our country is reputedly placed fifth in the hierarchy of top 50 nations, identified on the basis of their GDP. Ranking third in population, fourth in terms of defence capabilities, 34th in technology and 33rd in energy security, Shining India is every Indians catchword.
At a time when visionary policymakers and perceptive, far-sighted educationists fervently cogitate to nurture the innocence of children for whom the fluffy silver blue snow flakes melting into spring and the sight of jabbering geese with wings of cheese on flight to the Moon are enviably a few of the many favorite things, the cascade of a then flourishing, now conflict-ridden flecked with continued realities of injustices was ridiculously bad enough. It is not apocryphally ironic to conclude that things couldn't have taken a more whirlwind route. Glaciers are melting faster than they ever did in the last 20 years, changing the patterns of weather at a stunning pace, altering the paradigms of development with each passing day.
Naxalism, terrorism and volatile inter/intra country dynamics keep the well-intentioned, hardworking individual caught in a pincer. What troubles the mind the most is the fear that today's youth and tomorrow's leader be lost in dreary sand mines and dingy firecracker factories.
To reap the benefits of 90,000 rural IT kiosks set up across the country, let us nourish the blooming of aware, happy, carefree children. The Protection of Children from Sexual offences Bill, 2011 was tabled in the Rajya Sabha recently. Once made a law, it will provide for stringent punishment of up to 10 years jail term, with a possibility of being extended to life imprisonment, if warranted. With two rapes maligning the country’s dignity every minute, the idea of castration for the accused doesn’t seem far-fetched, does it?
Reading hubs, book clubs and activity centers offer a wellspring of knowledge and literary pleasure for the initiated. The four basic rights of children were ratified by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, on 20 November, 1989. These are the Right to Survival, Right to protection, Right to participation and Right to development.
914 females for every 1,000 males weren’t enough. What would the very latest technology designed to read faces, scan eye movements and interpret gestures that provide clues to emotional reactions achieve when even the life-changing power of gems and precious stones, favorable position of destiny governing planets and the ancient wisdom from the disciplines of numerology, astrology and palmistry couldn't alter the wide per-capita income gap across states.
At 9.4%, there are 40 million people who are unemployed today. One-third of the world's poor live in India, India ranked 128 in GDP-PPP, 134th in Human Development Index and 114th in the Global Gender Gap Index.
Bullying employers who do not think twice before thrusting hot rods into the pants of harassed bonded laborers need to be stringently punished! But is it only a behavioral problem is where my doubt lies? Wouldn't the percentage of Fagin (Oliver Twist's infamous mentor with criminal tendencies) kind of employers reduce, had their frustrations and needs been optimally met? I believe it would.
Zari work, screen printing, manufacturing shellac for handicraft items, leather purses, dhabas, giving form to export quality leather bags, nickel polishing, making covered buttons sound interesting , medium-size and micro-level vocations. Undoubtedly, the above-mentioned industries provide gainful employment to out-of-school children and a means of livelihood to their poverty-ridden families. If it is National and International campaigns that bring the Legislature and Executive, the civil society and Judiciary together on a mission that would alter the systems in governance and policy-implementation, then be it.
Increasing compensation to the backward communities under the threat of displacement, so that they flutter the green flag so that the train of development proceeds towards its arduous journey ahead is like luring a weeping child with a fruit and nut chocolate instead of a candy, to quieten him/her. But if the concerns for conserving the environment and respecting the rights and needs of the displaced are looked after, things would be easier for all the stakeholders.
Shaking the rotting edifice of value-bereft institutions to erect a strong pillar on a new foundation caved as per the specifics of new realities would be the essential first step.
As responsible, imaginative and robust beacons of hope, children deepen our understanding of pertinent issues motivating the youth and older generation to become impassioned participants in the call for a fair society for the rich and poor alike.
Let us make our 6 lakh villages buzzing growth centers. The bullock-cart of agriculture treads a smoother ride when the wheels are pumped up with shots of increased bank lending and enhanced additional subvention to farmers along with the necessary subsidies to families living below the poverty line.
Time will tell how the UID project showers drops of benefits by merging technology with all aspects of development, to the citizens. Let us merge the best of global management principles and practices with ethical methods in politics and the engine of the economy-financial institutions and the banking sector, to give birth to a brighter, flourishing India, like her famed, ancient civilizations.
Although the moment in time would arrive by 2045, when as predicted by Raymond Kurzwell (an American Computer Scientist), human beings with the aid of supra-human machines will have the power to banish death forever, how is it that we could prevent our immortality from making us less human or sadly inhuman!
Here's wishing that the rapturous generosity of a harmony between values and goals of economic and human development, establish a more equitable, enlightened and free society.