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Friday, 14 November 2014

Children's day

For this children’s day, instead of me, my friend offered to write a post. She wants to share her childhood memory related to child labour, and how it affected her.
This post by Dr. Nilofar Attar is part of Shankhnaad for happy children. To contribute a post, or read other posts which are a part of this campaign check ‘Happy children equals to a happy world’.


We had gone to Juhu Chaupati with my family friends, I was eleven years old and my younger brother was nine. We enjoyed snacks with our friends and had tea. When we finished my brother, always a good boy took all the cups to place them at the counter. Immediately our friends interrupted him and signaled one of the few boys working in the hotel, saying ‘it was their job, let them do it’. I looked at their innocent faces. The shame that they have to serve children of their age was reflected on their faces. When the boy cleaned our table with the cloth placed on his shoulders, it seems as if he was carrying the huge burden on those weak shoulders. I saw tears in my brother’s eye which he wiped away. I was disturbed. What if we were one of them? What would be like if we didn’t have our loving father and mother that we had now. I still get the same feeling if I pass any child who is struggling to fulfill his needs. It is said that the childhood is the best time anyone has. but when these children are forced into labour, exploited as servants in households, dragged into begging racket,human trafficking, how can we as human ignore another innocent human’s trouble? Someone who is just like us, and whose wounds hurt as badly as ours.

India has legislation since 1986 which allows work by children in non-hazardous industry. In 2013, the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave a landmark order that directed that there shall be total ban on the employment of children up to the age of 14 years, be it hazardous or non-hazardous industries.

In 1996 Childline India Foundation (CIF) launched CHILDLINE, The country’s first toll-free tele-helpline for street children in distress. As of March 2014, total of 31 Million calls since inception have been serviced by CHILDLINE 1098 service and operates in 291 cities/districts in 31 States.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21a of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.

All these legislatures and NGO's can't succeed without the support of people like you and me. Today on the eve of Children's day let’s just not have sympathy for the unfortunate kids. Let’s not just wipe our few tears. We are grownup now, and not helpless. Let’s contribute to wiping their tears for a change. I wish I could have stood up back then, when as a child, I first saw cruelty being heaped on those innocents. I can not change the past, but I can change the future. Let’s support those people who are struggling hard against the injustice towards children, and make sure that every child is in the class during the school hours. After all, they are the future, of our country, of this world.
Yours Truly,
© Dr. Nilofar Attar.

Author: Dr. Nilofar Attar -She is a Periodontist and an Implantologist. She works as a lecturer in Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Mumbai.

When we see a child in distress, most of the time we sigh, shed a few tears and move on. Instead, create awareness about CHILDLINE 1098. Inform them when you see a child in distress. Maybe, we can't do anything for the street kids, but CIF can. Every child deserves to be happy, and CHILDLINE could be the knight in shining armour for these kids.

Happy children's day everyone! Let's hope that the children's day keeps on extending and the kid's remain happy all through the year, throughout their life.

Have you ever come across any child in distress? How did it affect you? Do share your memories and views. We'd love to hear from you. 
                                                                -Shankhnaad Team


  1. Much food for thought, thank you for posting this.

    1. It is indeed thought provoking. Thanks for stopping by, Mridula.

  2. "What was if we were one of them? What would be like if we didn’t have our loving father and mother that we had now."

    Nilofar, Your these lines broke me down. I lost one of my parents at an early age of five. What if I'd have loose both??????????,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :(:(:(

    1. It is sad to lose a parent at any age, more so at a very tender age. I can understand how you feel with the question what if. Sometimes, it's better not to ask the question.:(

  3. A very touching incident shared.
    Each of us can make a difference, thanks for letting us know of the initiatives.

    1. Childhood incidents shape the way we behave in future. Thanks Indrani.

  4. This is such a touching post and glad you shared so many details for awareness for the readers. Children are the future of our nation we need to protect every single childhood from getting trapped in to hard times.


    1. Thanks for stopping by. Children are indeed the future of this world, and we need to protect them.

  5. Good work Nilofar. Appreciate your concern for such kids. Whenever I come across such kids, I ask them whether they go to school or not. Some of them attend night schools. I have many queries regarding night schools, how these night schools work? Do they provide quality education? Are they proving to be helpful for working children? Nilofar, I would love to read on this topic in your next article.

    1. That is a nice suggestion Shital. Yeah, some of the kids do go to night school. You should talk to Nilofar, and persuade her to write again. :D
      Thanks for stopping by.


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