This Children’s Day, lets spare a thought for the innocence that’s lost on Delhi’s roads
As winter approaches the mind’s eye goes back to around this time last year. Then, even as students across public schools, and many in governments ones too, celebrated Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday (November 14) as Children’s Day, there were others – actually more than 12 million across the country – who toiled away for their daily bread. Some were the faceless ‘Chhotus’, the ‘Rajus’, the ‘Bahadurs’ washing utensils at streetside dhabas, others were children selling books at traffic intersections when they should be reading them. Some sold flowers and balloons when they would rather be playing with them. Then there were others scrounging for a morsel of food and little pieces of paper by the railway tracks. Often street was their home.
Things do not seem to have changed much for children on the streets of the Capital. Whether they are tortured as domestic servants or abused as little errand boys, only the instruments of exploitation change. Far from the roses and toys they sell, the dreams they peddle, today is just another day for the innocent multitudes.
Like many other days of celebrations, Children’s Day is just another day that highlights the great divide between the haves and the have-nots.