With squinted eyes, I scrutinised. Palm pressed against palm and foot pressed beside foot. Yes, the exact same size! She’s going to be my best friend, I declared. Grabbing her hand I was just about to take her to meet all my other friends when my grammy asked what I was doing.
“We’re gonna play, Grammy!”
“But she’s got work to do!”, Grammy reasoned.
“Hoooome-work?” I enquired. Visibly miffed at that ever looming entity that always threw a spanner in all my best laid plans.
“No, child, house work”, replied Grammy.
Frowning, my six year old mind tried to fathom why little Neerja had to do housework. Wasn’t that her mother’s job?
Since no one around me ventured an explanation for it the entire day and seemed completely at home with such a situation, I assumed it was one of those things that only adults or ‘big people’ knew.
I’m 25 now. I still cannot wrap my head around that fact.
(Today is World Day against Child Labour. We all know child labour is atrocious. Let’s do something about it. Children need to be loved, nourished, nurtured and educated. They should not have to work their small bodies to bones while continuously worrying about where the next meal would come from. Let’s give them the love and support they need. Say no to child labour. Say yes to love.
If you’ve come across heart wrenching incidences of child labour, please share the story in the comments section below. Spreading awareness always helps. Nothing works better than guilt. Let’s guilt the world into being more humane?)