How is the unheard Voice of Innocence affecting mental health of children?

How is the unheard Voice of Innocence affecting mental health of children?

Every time we see the sunrise, can't we notice a smiling bud hidden behind? Children are nothing but "a host of golden daffodils", the innocent butterflies in the garden of Eden.

But, in this world of Lucifer's, their stories are safe and sound only in the ink of pens, not in reality.

Maybe your child is all good, in a protected environment, but why do I have to use the words 'protection', 'safe' for a child in social respect?

Child labour, still a great global concern in this twenty-first century, has some serious undeniable reasons. For these reasons, the malice is still reigning over the world, and what is unfortunate actually, is the individuals' reluctant attitude towards global issues.

According to UNICEF, about 12 million children are engaged in child labour in today's India. Well, enough!  At what time child's play turned into child's labour, we couldn't notice.

It is insanity to write down the definition of 'child labour'. So it will be good to jump into the ocean directly.

In Asia, 62% children are called 'child labour'. Among 152 million children, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls. Actually there are various kinds of reasons behind this heart-rending condition.

  • Poverty
  • Lack of educational baskets
  • Unhealthy Socio-economic condition
  • Any unsocial addiction of the child/anyone of the child's family
  • Family tradition
  • Compelling to do the job ( by abdicating the child or the poor family condition drives him to get engaged)
  • Distinguishing between boy and girl child

Abusers with the Evil-eyes

  • Severe physical punishments are the witnesses of sheer cruelty. It affects both physically and mentally. There are much evidence of killing children in the name of punishments.
  • Emotional ill-treatment is very common, like blaming, verbal abuse, bullying, diminishing. These stamps horribly on those innocent minds.
  • This becomes too much devilish especially for the girl child. They, sometimes, have to face one of the most brutal faces of reality. Rape, unwanted pregnancy, abortion sometimes leading them to death. Often girls are ‘used’ for prostitution. HIV, AIDS, STDs are common diseases for them.

The result is obviously hellish for these poor hummingbirds. Physically and emotionally they get affected. Sometimes it is a life-time nut. If the child is really blessed, can overcome this hurdle. But this is rarely an incident.

  1. Physically:
    • Incision, Burns, Fractures
    • Tiredness
    • Extreme fear and nightmares
    • Malnutrition
  1. Mentally:
    • Naturally mental health gets affected, the child-like mental set up gets changed
    • Become premature or over-mature
    • Depression
    • Become addicted to drugs, alcohol etc.
    • Become violent
    • Brutality, sometimes, veils their innocence, humanity; that is why they often commit crimes in future

Though there are many ‘acts’, ‘laws’ for the right of children, for preventing child labour, those are utterly frivolous. If we do not take initiative unitedly and hit randomly to the tomb of trouble without being impatient , there can be seen a ray of hope, hopefully. Otherwise, the laws remain written in the pages and brutality remains.

Actually if the King is blind, how can the people ‘see’ properly? If the protectors ignore the importance of law , how do the common people understand the value of government?

I have seen a police officer take food easily from a child ( maybe 10/11 years), a worker in that sweet stall and continue chit-chatting with another one beside him who is also a police officer.

I have seen children selling tri-color balloons and flags on the main roads while the minister’s car is waiting in the traffic.

Many more are there which will make an epic.

  • Child trafficking

Child trading is the most common and the initial stage of the decay. Every year, a certain number of children (ages of 12 to 16) , especially girls become easy prey. The reasons for this nuisance are naturally the same as the previous one.

Actually lack of awareness and education are the root of these. Children are, sometimes, internationally adopted. They are treated like objects and get exploited in every devastating way. Even they are forced to beg on the streets, forcibly trained to steal or pick pockets in crowds. The dishonest dealers of children are everywhere with their wolves’ net. Thus the soft rays of dawn get lost in the darkness of doom.

  • Child Soldiers

Another unique kind of child labour is engaging children in military. Instead of taking a pencil, a child has to hold guns. What a farce! Would there be any problem, if they join the military at least after their basic educational period? That would be far better actually. A country needs more learned, intelligent and apt soldiers than a child soldier who is compelled to do that.

The youngest age of a child soldier is 7 years. There are 250,000 child soldiers in the world. The main fourteen countries which have child soldiers in their army are Afghanistan, Colombia, Central African Republic, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, The Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen. India has 3000 child soldiers (updated 2013) and Africa has 120,000 among which some are not more than 7 years. Girl child soldiers are about 40% and they are mainly ‘used’ for sex-slavery and for being ‘kept’ for men.

The children are easy to collect, easy to maintain, easy to turn into something that you wish. Because they are just blank papers, just innocent dolls of clay, or maybe just a mere material to use, just an object.

  • They are mainly taken from minority groups, unprivileged backgrounds, poor families by luring them with money, or threatening them. Socio-economic unpleasant situations play a huge role , no doubt.
  • Another way is abdicating them.

Sometimes children voluntarily engage themselves in the group for food, slight income and security. Generally they come from the poor, backward families. But most of the time they are compelled to join. The children are forced to serve in various ways in the military camp.

  • As a numb, obeying, robotic fighter
  • As a servant for household chores like cooking, dusting etc
  • As a porter
  • As the front-line fighters
  • As human bomb
  • Any suicide mission
  • As message bearer and for spying
  • As human shields
  • As a sex object

Naturally this abnormal phenomenon leaves a terrible effect on those bosom-minds. Specially their emotional state gets devastatingly disrupted and disturbed.

  • Pre maturity
  • Depression, Anxiety, Psychological disorders
  • The terror of war and cruelty affect on their natural habits
  • Changing of their healthy mental set up
  • Traumatic disorders
  • Drug, alcohol etc. addiction
  • Prone to murder
  • Tending to self harm

Though Human rights organisations, other commissions are working for the betterment of the condition of poor children, it proves futile. Every year, certain number of children gets missing, many are pressurised by men or situation for being child labour, child soldiers. It is really disappointing and distressing to see people demoralised for greed.

International Humanitarian Law prohibits recruiting children under age of 15 and defines it as a crime.

Lack of education is the root of all problems. If you do not get illuminated, how do you enlighten your society? And if the disease continues to devour society , then not only the condition of the children, but of every person will be at stake. It gradually gets amalgamated with poverty and other venoms. Some stern steps have to be taken firmly for the betterment of the condition of children.

Steps taken by the government :

  • Free and compulsory education
  • Affordance by government of basic necessities to the BPL people
  • Employment
  • Firm prevention Child trafficking
  • Always keeping an eye out for orphanages, homes, hospitals, NGOs etc
  • Taking care of abandoned children
  • Review the laws regarding child’s virtue
  • Not only riskful works but all the laborious job also make prohibited for children
  • Legal steps against child prostitution

Steps taken by the family :

  • Keep children away from any harmful addiction
  • Not to make influence of economic condition of your family cast over them
  • Share a certain time with children
  • Co-operating the social workers and the government
  • Most importantly educate yourself

Is acting in television a kind of child labour?

If these conditions get prevailed, it will not be considered as child labour. These conditions are:

  • If the child wants to act or love acting
  • The child actor has to enjoy the work
  • A limited time for his job, no over work
  • Violence free story or role for them
  • Job should not cross path with education
  • Payment or money transaction only with their guardians, not with them anyway
  • No contract basis work, if the child does not want to continue, let him leave (a child’s happiness or mental freedom is more important than the industrial profit)

Actually, in one sentence, if the child is creatively active in this creative field, he will not be called a child labour, but a child artist. But when he will be pressurised, feel disturbed and stressful, it will be considered as child labour.

Child labour is one of the chief diseases of Devil. Is there any mother who can see her child holding bricks in his hands at a construction site? Can even any normal human mind accept a little girl as a maid servant or facing sexual violence everyday? Still we close our eyes to avoid social hazards, we do not get jerked if that is not personal. But we forget that we have some duties towards society. We just clean our rooms, not each corner of this society which is almost full of garbage. If every individual does not come forward, the government alone can do nothing.

‘Children are the seeds of nation’, ‘student is the backbone of our society’ - these lines are used only to decorate a ‘harangue’. First feel the value of education and the value of educating children. Then everything will get sorted out gradually. We have to fight unitedly with a deep interest within our hearts. The interest is to make a new pollution free world for our children. We have to recover the paradise for the blooming flowers. Let's make them breathe in serene zenith.

About the Author

Aryama Bhattacharya

A Literature-student who has a great passion in writing short stories, article, poems; is so much interested in Philosophy, Psychology and Social i

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