Report by Arushi Yadav; Dhenkanal: “I was seven years old when I left my home for the first time to earn for the survival of my family. I am thirteen now, and I have been working since then. I was working in Punjab before I came to Dhenkanal last month”, says Vikas Kumar, a young boy who hails from Samastipur, Bihar. To him, these are some of the words which help form his frame of introduction, but to our correspondent it was a deep insight into a bright dying future.
Selling gupchup from 10 in the morning to 9 in the evening, earning around two thousand per month, he spends two hundred on himself and transfers rest to the family. Vikas works under his maternal uncle, way far from his family, adjusting among unknown faces, adapting new language, trying to become the bread earner of his family, has no idea where his life is heading. Forget life, he is not even aware about whether he has studied till second or third standard. In an age where he needs care and protection, should be curious of going to school, playing with his friends, dreaming of what to be and not, his innocence only spoke, “I have one younger brother, a younger sister, mother, father and I am earning just enough to feed all five of us”.
Call it a forced migration or the time left him with no option, he has to move to different places just to earn for his family. In a country where the government has launched several schemes and programs to protect a child and provide him with his basic rights, many still lacks to be the beneficiaries of their progressive freedom and he is unfortunately one of them. Moved by his inadequate situations and circumstances, unknowingly, he became a victim of forced migration.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” Yes, there is a long way to go but the change will be visible sooner than later.