What should it be called? Child labour...prejudicial…or just poverty!
When I look to the west from my house rooftop, I can see a small factory, which directly faces the streets. It’s kind of an embroidering factory, where sarees are customized with pretty laces and colorful threads. The weird part is that it is filled with jute made beds and many young boys. If I have to give an actual description of it, I would not call it a factory at all though it does houses more than 20 people. I would rather call it a male breeding ground. I am not referring it to be as a repelling thought but it reminds me of this certain statement. This story might first seem to some as an uncensored truth but it’s as innocent as those who work there.
Now before anyone imagines otherwise and make judgments, let me tell you the real story behind my previous paragraph and why did I call it a male breeding ground. As I come back from work every day, I look at those innocent faces who work day and night on that bed embroidering the sarees. They do work day and night because I see the lights on even past midnight whenever I visit my rooftop at the times when I can’t sleep. My curiosity to that place always ends in children. There are to my knowledge three men, three ladies and whole bunch of boys. It’s not a hostel, they are not put by anyone, they are the children of the grown up who also happen to work there. It’s amazing how they can manage to produce so much boy child and not one girl. I always wondered why they didn’t have any girl. Well I was once convinced that they simply were lucky with male children. First let me give you a brief description of the factory, the grownups and the living standard of those people. Though I called it a factory, it does not exactly look like one. It’s a room where 5 beds could fit with the attached kitchen. Ignoring the sarcasm, what I mean to say is, the ways those people were living, a person living in this country would know how sad it is. It looks absolutely unhygienic, harsh and depressing. The beds are not for sleeping, it is there to get the work done. I mean they embroider the sarees on the beds all day. They take orders, they make tens of sarees in one day. They use a kind of a hammer and I have not seen those children without them. The children age ranges from 8 to 14 years old. The female number would not work but only make food. That’s what the quarter of the room is for. They cook meal and eat quietly, in the spot where they are working. On top of the numbers of children to feed, one female is a mother with big belly coming out of her dark purple saree which she wears every day. Alongside the working children, two of their sibling is not, might I add eligible. They play all day in the mud and sometime in front of my house with the other children during holidays. Though their factory is like an inch away from a public school, not one of them is educated.
One day my curiosity got the best of me and I walked slower than what my ability of slowness could contain. I watched the family thoroughly. I noticed the men wore only vests and dhoti (a kind of cotton wrapped around from their hips), women wore sarees and are near the kitchen all day. Children looked content on what they were working on. The picture made me believe that they were just unfortunate. They were no doubt poor, trying to survive and build their livelihood.. They are there to work and earn money. Why there are only boys and no girls is still a mystery for me. Whether they were taken away for marriages, since to those people, still a female child is a burden and is expendable; I am left with nothing but to wonder. It looks like a male breeding ground because I think to them producing a whole of male children, would earn them money. They somehow think that they can work tirelessly and without any girl, they don’t have to worry about giving dowries. I thought of cursing those grownups for making their children’s life as such. They could have gotten education, could have made their life even better but they were just caught in a sphere of destitution and no one could blame them.
Friends though my writings have become dull because of my busy schedule these days, I have simply forgotten to write well. This is all I could come up with! Bless all!