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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The less fortunate of the world.. need a helping hand...

The world observes, a day against childlabour once a year.. But we still see many kids live on the platform, in the bus terminus, at way side eating places, shop verandahs, parks, pavements and footpaths, and steal, beg or scavenge from refuse bins enough to eat and stay alive. They move on - by trains, buses and lorries. Most of them are 'rolling stones'.
As per the Government report, the street children in Hyderabad City are more than 30,000. Majority of these street children are below 16 years age, and mostly are migrants from rural or semi-rural areas from all over Andhra Pradesh. These kids are drawn to the city because they dream that they will make good here. But, most come because they are not able to cope with the stark reality of deprivation of food and love in their large, poor and rural families.
Children of drunken fathers, deserted mothers, beaten, tormented and driven out of their homes for petty stealing, quarrels, come looking for a way out - for a break from hurt, pain and hunger. They come by trains, buses, lorries, trucks and trailers, hitch hiking and even walking.
"We have about 10 rescue teams that go around the city to trace out the child beggars or street children. For past two months we have been rescuing around 70 kids everyday. Basically we send them to the social welfare hostels where they are provided with education , food and shelter. We see kids begging with their parents' encouragement. In such cases we taken a written promisory note from parents and release the child. ", says a very senior government official.
The first few days for the child on the street, out of the village, are days of bewilderment coupled with fear and hunger. Their meager belongings are soon stolen or pawned. Sometimes they are picked up by police and sent to remand homes. They are molested, beaten and sexually abused and with a total break down of coping abilities, still they remain on, only because they have no home to go to!
Needless to say, the vast majority of the innocent children who are on the street are doomed. They are in a system totally hostile to them, with no supports, no motivators, and with no skills other than their animal instinct to survive.
"We seek to be that hand which will draw the these kids out of the dark side of life and support them in their arduous journey of realising their true potential. We are already working on it by tracing child labourers, street kids and sending them to homes by convincing them. Surprisingly, we become uncles for them. They just come hug us when we visit the homes", says B Ajay, a senior official in the labour department.
However, they relish the freedom and independence, and will not easily choose an institution in exchange for the street. When it comes to a child on the street, it cannot be too soon, for his name is "Today".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Awaiting Transformation....

Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be. :)
Running up to the mirror again and again just in a span of few minutes to see if there is any minor change…
Feeling the bulge on my tummy and saying “baby! What are you doing nana?”
That weird frisson, an aura of magic that combined awkwardly with an earthy sense of duty, is mundane, because I am nothing unique on the streets; ethereal because my attention was ever somewhere else. Whatever people said was trivial. And I have that preciousness which I impose wherever I go, compelling attention, constantly reminding people that I am carrying the future inside, its contours already drawn, but veiled, private, an inner secret.
Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch. It is the most wondrous and magical adventure that I can ever experience. I feel love, patience and other emotions bubbling up within me. I am loving it !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Beware of the pitfalls of unsafe sex" - Renuka advices

“Thank God, my kid is healthy and does not have HIV, but I wonder if I will be lucky this time,” says Renuka, a 28 year old woman from Andhra. Five months pregnant with her second child, Renuka’s anxiety is both evident and understandable – she has been HIV positive since 2006.

A blood test at a blood donation camp in 2007 revealed the bitter truth. One doesn’t have to wonder long about the source of the deadly virus as she frankly confesses, “It is due to unsafe physical relations with non-regular partners.” And though she struggles to live peacefully with the condition, trying to integrate herself with the community, the pang of dejection is never far away. Grateful just to be alive, however, she tries to stay optimistic.

Renuka is not the only one in this lonely fight. Millions of others have contracted the virus in the same manner. Now aware of the pitfalls of unsafe sex, Renuka strongly advises against having multiple and unsafe sexual relationships.

The Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society survey reveals that AP has the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, with two percent of the low-risk general adult populations represented by women. It has also been found that the prevalence of sex with non-regular partners (NRPs) is substantially higher in the state than the all-India average. As the problem reaches epidemic proportions, the issues of care and support for the affected individuals and prevention of HIV transmission from those affected has become critical.

Lack of awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS among women - both educated and un-educated – is a major factor leading to the virus’ spread. “Usually people do not know how the virus is transmitted and the gamut of myths surrounding the disease doesn’t help matters either,” says Dr. Surendra Mantena, medical expert and consulting physician at MedPlus Health Services.

He adds, “At our clinics, we believe the primary control measure is to educate people and demarcate between facts and myths surrounding HIV/AIDS. HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles and/or syringes (primarily for drug injection) with someone who is infected, or less commonly through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors. Since all transfused products are now routinely screened for HIV, the chances of infection through this route are remote. It is important to know that HIV does not survive well in the environment, making the possibility of environmental transmission remote. Normal physical contact with a HIV infected person also does not transmit infection. Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before or during birth or through breast-feeding after birth.”
On the importance of curbing this epidemic, he comments, “Individuals should become aware of the risk factors associated with contracting HIV including unsafe sexual practices and IV drug use. Since HIV tends to be asymptomatic until an advanced stage, periodic testing the key for people at risk. Public health measures should include Counselling and Confidential Testing.
Hereby there is a friendly advice to all those youngsters about to get married.. It’s not a sin to get yourself thoroughly checked up before marriage. Go get the HIV test done. It’s good for both of you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Family planning for women beggars ! - must and should !

Most of us know that the woman beggars on the roads and at traffic signals are often found carrying big tummies ! Yes they are pregnants again soon after they deliver a baby ! Lets talk openly and in a broader sense. It's human tendency that one feels erotic at times and feels like satisfying their pleasure hunger. It's a different case when we speak about married and unmarried people in the society. But for those less fortunates on the road side, they have no other go than satisfying those men who crave for sex. They lend their bodies just for the sake of money. Finally, they are pregnants and they deliver babies on the roadside itself. I have seen a lady delivering a baby at around 11 in the night and cutting off the naval connection with a blade. Yes! I was shocked, surprised, felt sad and what not ! I was expression less and speech less. Most sadest part is that those babies are the ones who feed their moms. Yes ! the lady takes the baby to a nearby traffic signal and out of sympathy, people just drop coins into her hands. Those little innocent babies are not fed properly and are left with no concern on roads. On one unfortunate day, those babies grow up to see the world with nobody to care for them. With no other go, they turn into beggars too. If it is a girl child, she turns into a prostitute to earn her daily bread and if its a boy child, he turns out to be a "chotu- the chai wala" or a pocket picker. In worst cases they turn out to be rack pickers. The government has many schemes for various caders of less fortunates living in the society. But what about those who have no home to live, nothing to wear and nothing to eat? The point that I want to put across is that " THEY NEED FAMILY PLANNING OERATIONS DONE FOR SURE". Yes ! or else India will turn out to be a country having highest percentage of beggars. Coz, beggars have no overview of life and their productivity goes into the profession of begging ! I have written this write-up with a positive intention so that my trials of making the officials understand will succeed if atleast a few of you read it and pass on the message. I am sure one day this will reach the officials. Ofcourse those sincere !