Bhavna, Munni, and the alarming rise of un-supervised children

Today a young man known to me from my previous home in Chandor village called me up, in a bid to get his sister, Bhavna, a job with me, or with my mediation anywhere else. His sister, rather cousin, is under 25, and a mother of two! This surfaced after a few queries to him.

So how would she come to a new place with two children and what about her husband, I asked.

“Her husband eloped with another woman, several years ago.” he responded

I was very troubled to hear that. To be sure, I think he said the woman is 22-23. At this age she has two children and is now suddenly pushed into the role of breadwinner of the family, whatever her little family be. She is at the mercy of anyone who can offer her a job. She is willing to come to a different part of the country, leaving her home in Madhya Pradesh, in search for greener pastures. But what about her children? I ask the man.

He says, true to the spirit of a young man, “We will send the children to a hostel or somewhere else.”

How unrealistic. He is willing to send children who are both under five years of age to a residential facility like a hostel. How inhuman can humans get! Had it been his own children, perhaps this thought would not have occurred to him, but being the children of a cousin, he is least concerned. We speak a few hours later, in which he has explained to Bhavna that it is best to leave the children with her parents, as she works in a distant place. I just think of the young woman, who has no resources to fall back on, being separated from her own children and what about the children? At a young age, they would be at the mercy of anyone who would hit them, keep them hungry or well-fed, depending upon their whims and fancies. What will happen to millions of children in this country…so many faces waft in front- from Delhi, train stations, bus terminals, schools, from Goa, from villages in Uttar Pradesh, towns of Haryana- whose children are these and where will they find their anchors.

I cannot accommodate her, because Haseena is very well settled with me, in my domestic work management and we have a rather good rapport and camaraderie between us. I told him the same, and then I inquired about the woman due to whom he knows me, a certain lady who was his neighbour in Chandor, by the name Munni Khan.

“Munni has gone to Dubai,” he tells me. I knew Munni had about three or four boys. So what about them, I ask this young man, Sagar, (though for some reason I recall he had told me another name when I met him first). He tells me that Munni’s sister is looking after her children while Munni is working in a home in Dubai.

I have read and heard the most horrendous stories of people who go abroad to work, as domestic helps. I had forewarned Munni too, but she has tried to cover her tracks, by working in close proximity with her brother, who works as a driver in the same household where she works inside the home. I really hope that helps.

I wonder why Munni’s husband is not taking responsibility for his boys, and I ask Sagar the same. He tells me,

“Her husband left many years ago, do you not know Madam?”

I am confused, because Munni never told me. Why would we discuss her husband whenever we met, for there for no reason to bring it up.

“He left her at least ten or 15 years ago.” Sagar lays all doubt to rest.

So this is how children are growing up in India now- with one parent involved in parenting, either one. And that parent spending most of the time in earning the bread and butter for the children, leaving children alone with others- children or adults,  unmindful of what all can go wrong. Is it any surprise that we will increasingly become a country where the only thing everyone would understand would be the value of money and not human relationships or human values, because that is what they are growing up observing?

Wherever I look, I see a rise of un-supervised children, children who have no significant bonds with any adult- parent, relative, grandparent, teacher, guide or coach. We are raising generations of mercenaries I am afraid, and in being tuned in quiet ways to frequencies of children’s minds I am afraid this is evident to me from many, many quarters- even those of the middle classes and upper middle class children. Children are growing up alone, and I fear for what the world is going to be, when there are generations who have grown up without their mother’s love, or father’s presence.

I am noting this down as part of this blogpost, because all these conversations happened right today and I am forced to connect the dots about how many women are now pushed into the role of family ‘providers’, separated from their children- damaging both the children and the women, in the long run. We are losing the most precious resources in the world- our children. And it is nobody’s gain, no matter what you say.

On a more disturbing note, Haseena informed me about the brutal rape of a four year old by a man of 70! and she is brutalized to the extent that people in her vicinity are wondering if the child will even survive. The old man has gone and hidden inside a mosque- for he was a Mullah. What have their religions taught them if not even simple love for children, of their own kind? Society is no more the protector of civilization- it is over and decimated.

Time to start a new construction.

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