The sight of those gloomy faces, inability to make an eye contact with anyone, eyes which close instantly in daylight, mouth covered with handkerchiefs sends chill down the spine and makes us wonder about the truth which we all seem to ignore since we are satisfied and happy with our lives.
Welcome to the dark world which has no escape door!
Penury is what spoils the life of thousands of children and especially in the cases where they are the soul breadwinners of the family. Such children take up rag picking and other low paid menial jobs where they are made to work continuously without any breaks in between. In order to fulfill the needs of the family members and to kill their hunger these poor children find solace in substances where they consume products which include whiteners, thinners, fevibond, nail paint removers, shoe polish and various balms applied in cases of sprains and headaches.
The main departmental stores and stationery shops have stopped selling the bottle whiteners since they are banned in the country after the Supreme Court passes a ruling. To deal with the ban people have taken up other measures to meet up with their needs. There are no proper figures available on record for these children in the country which makes it even more difficult for any NGO to come forward and help them. The surveys conducted after regular intervals are mere formalities and only ways to extract money in the name of working on projects since the figures in the surveys are wrong .The reality is no longer hidden from anyone. On one hand where it is a style statement for children belonging to higher class to abuse substances, for the children belonging to the lower class they are only means to relax themselves or to escape reality. Child specialists believe that it becomes very important for us to understand the state of mind of such children. Many children do it in order to get a good night sleep after a long tiring day at work or to kill hunger to save some money.
Along with these substances, the cough syrup which contains codeine is banned by the government and is only sold on the prescription of the doctor. A number of history sheeters take advantage of the addiction of children to such substances and later make them crave for the same substances where in return they ask them to perform petty thefts for them. As individuals we can only make others aware of substances which can be used for the wrong purpose. The sale of such substances should be completely banned by the government since some of them are easily available at very low prices.
Even if we can’t do anything on a large scale we can definitely stop people from entering a dark world which has no ‘escape door’ once someone enters it.
So next time if you see someone falling prey to such substances: Stop. Think. Act. You can save someone’s life.