Child labour: All six in a family

Kalyansinghpur: A child is the father of the nation. Who said that? On the 122nd birth anniversary of the country`s first prime minister who willed that his birthday should be remembered as the Childrens` Day, there are innumerable children in the state who have very little or nothing at all to rejoice the day. It is just another hard day for them. For they have to break their bones for survival.

Like Tuna Khatia, Chaitanya Khatia or for that matter Geeta Khatia of Kataguda village. Not just the three siblings. They are six brothers and sisters. All the tender children have to slog from morn till night for a pittance to survive. They cannot dream of the Childrens` Day. They are condemned to toil.

Fate had written a cruel story for the six siblings. They lost their parents too early. And have to fend for themselves. While one washes dishes in a shanty hotel, another have to clean the house of his/her master. While another one has to wok in the fields. Cruel pictures of child labourers but strangely all in a family. Most pathetically, they do not have a roof over them. They are shelterless.

And no one among the six has crossed 12 years even. Their father was gone before they could understand what is what. Then followed mother. Of course some noble men in the panchayat offered them menial jobs to eak out their living. And that is how they have been surviving.

They are minors. Hence they cannot get job cards nor ration cards. And who is their to fight for their? They are deprived of availing the benefits of Rs 2 a kilo rice scheme. The block development officer, Loknath Behera, when approached has assured that he would definitely do his best to assist the six hapless children. At least some assurance on the Childrens` Day for the six condemned children of a family.