Sometime back as the mundane day was passing by like a flow diagram of process based life, it really took a penetrating eyes of a child to give me a wake up call and first thing was to make all of you “imaginative testamonies” of what I saw.
I had gone to shopping with some friends. I standing out and observing the rush of people to their destination aka destinies, I felt feel of tender skin on my feet. Reflex action made me to withdraw with irritation marked clearly in my eyes while searching for the foreign object. My eyes this kid pleading for alms. Camera mind clicked that picture and transmitted to million neurons in million ways, all permutation and combination revealed only one outcome “Million Mutinies”.
What on this earth this kid is begging for? Does he even know what is he doing? Does childhood mean anything to his parents? I as a civilized human, can I allow this? Why can’t his parents give him up for adoption as he might have an opportunity for better life? What about my faith in India Shining? And so many other questions marked the Human that I am. While the irritated eyes of mine changed into guilty me for not knowing the way forward, I became brain dead and stayed glued for good amount of time looking at the “kiddo”. Perhaps the time duration that I spend was not good enough since coming back to my senses the que had hardly moved, but it seemed that eternity had passed and I stood helpless.
Beggar Kid’s penetrating eyes, innocent expressions and guilt stayed with and first thing as a reconciliatory measure I shed some tears in soltitude, which acted as a pressure relief valve of my guilt build up. Interestingly in one of the seminars that was organized by one of the celebrated NGO’s working for the cause of underprivileged children, the people on dias kept children whose cause they were serving as marginalized children. Taken aback, I raised a question albeit in dogmatic way about the kids belonging to lower strata of society being a subject of Economics. Continuing from the constellation of thoughts that I carried with me from shopping experience and few hurried calls to find friends on the inclusive grief, I came across another economics title. “The intentional poverty” sounds like a subject of thesis, but very real. The Begging menace in India is fast becoming a subject of poverty among people who look at induced guilt in common people to extract coins of sympathy. Common man, as did I, washes one hand by donating directly or to NGO’s from one’s commitment towards fellow species.
Intentional Poverty, Marginalised Children, GDP income of Below Poverty line etc have caught the fancy of masses. Every now and then seminars, workshops, shows are being conducted. There is a different cult of people out there to eradicate the poverty. NGO’s do it in Balance sheet way, I was surprised to receive the balance sheet from them, A debit credit analysis of poverty and wealth. Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, our own Narayan Muthy and some top honchos and big corporates all doing their bit to elevate people from utter despondency and poverty and perhaps the world has become a better place to live but I am concerned about what would be my contribution in the story on good today and better tomorrow.
This experience was a thought provoking one, though the intensity of the moment has gone thanks to god given gift of emotional reconciliation and resilience. But the evident childhood lost will always be there, I will try to be a better human by contributing directly, not only the monetary way but self indulgence as well, for the people who have the urge to move ahead and need a small opportunity to do so. I will talk to people to “sell” them the idea of better society better future. And I am beginning now. Requested to put forth your way of addressing the idea of creating a society of inclusive growth, idea of seeing underprivileged kids competing with our own kinds in level playing field, idea of better life for all of us. Kindly consider what can be our contribution and not what Government should do.
Though today the ‘Beggar Kid” has left me confused and the confusion is what I want to believe but for sure I want to see is that “beggar kid” growing up as educated, job goer, civilized person who is standing next to me in with shopping bags. And I wish him asking in a confident voice “ Do u accept American Express??”.
I know I am hearing a collective “Amen”