Monday, September 27, 2004

Poor Kids at Restuarants

I was at a leading restaurant in the city. It has been around for ages and its know for its authentic south indian food combined with the fact that you get your food super quick. They also serve the incredibly strong "filter coffee". I remember taking a malayasian friend of mine, Amir to that restaurant some 4 years back when he dropped into see me. And he said" Wow! Thats the best coffee i have ever had!!"This is also the place a lot of people frequent because the price is also low. Extremely affordable. It makes more money than any other restaurants in the city.

But over the years i have been extremely uncomfortable in eating in such joints. Why? Because i cant bear to see the way the kids work there. These kids must be ranging from 9 to 12 from extremely poor families. In some cases, they must have been sold to an agent or something. They work from early mornings to late nights.

I asked one of the kids and he said "I get 4 hrs of sleep every night". WHAT?? And they make these kids work like donkeys. Even those animals are better off. These kids are hit violently for just dropping a spoon. When they should be playing and studying, these poor kids have to wait tables and clean dirty dishes 7 days a week for the rest of their young lives.

How much do they get paid?
He told me that he gets paid Rs.300/month... !

Its not just one restaurant. But there are many around. Infact it happens at almost all hotels, restaurants, railway stations,bus stops etc.

Would it not be great if one day they were allowed to be free? To play, to paint and draw, watch TV, read, go to the zoo, study ...things they should actually be doing. You wont believe this but we had a handful of StudentConcepts members who came forward and said that they would volunteer to work in these hotels/restaurants so that the child could go and have fun for that one day !!!

What are your feelings?


1 Comments:

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Child's labour is a sign of these days meaning how poor a country is.
But mind the fact that rich countries of today where child's labour today no longer exist and products with even the slightest link to child's labour are banned were a century ago in the same position. In the big cities there were begging children who didn't attend schools, even today homeless children are back. They got no education and end up in for example prostitution. That's Europe. America also, and what to think of children in Russia, Moskou has children living in sewers with rats and mice and steal for living. Or the main cities in South America? All the same poverty among the streetchildren.

No you shouln't eat cheaply in that hotel or drink a cheap cup of coffee. Get an expensive cup in a hotel or other establishment where children are not misused.
Helping the child one day is not a structural help. And that's what it needs.
Helping one day means that you dump the child. Probably it never hears from you again. Blame you!
For such a child working isn't bad, but it has to be changed; work in the morning, and school in the afternoon and learn to write and read.
Why also working? The parents need the money of the child.

For Dutch readers:

Echt, ik vind het een slechte zaak om dat kind een dag vrij te geven.. wat los je ermee op? Alleen stucturele hulp helpt. Dus doe wat aan de scholing en zorg dat de ouders er niet op achteruit gaan. Derhalve moet het kind ook blijven werken, halve dagen en gecompenseerd met halve dagen school.

 

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