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298

The life of child labours working in hotels, restaurants and in rag picking at open dust bins and dhalaos in Delhi and other parts of the country is really a worrisome sitiation and extremely little is being done by the NGOs’, law enforcing agencies and government departments dealing with child welfare responsibilities.

Children of adoloscent age in a group of four or five seggregating degradable and bio degradable waste from dust bins and dumps of rubbish and picking plastic bottles on the roadside as well are the common instances visible everyday by all of us. Looking towards them make us feel pity on their extremely pitiable socio economic status.

Lean and thin these mal nourished children has no future of any sort, may it be relating to their academic career or job avenues. Majority of themare suffering from several skin and lung related ailments completely careless about treatment as meeting two ends meal and creating sustenance is their parents is their primay concern.

While some of themwork willingly as rag pickers constrained to spoil their entire lifedue to non existence or availability of any outside goverental support, many work on the pressure and instrction of their poor, dejected and hapless parents. What sounds shocking about this whole affair shocking is the fact that these poor children finally get into the trap of thieves, professional criminals and drig eddicts and kingpins and enter the narrow and dark lanes of dampened life of a druggist finally meeting a sad end.

Not talking of such rag picker children of India but in Delhi itself one can find them in thousands with no future and healthy life rather growing up as liability on the society as druggists, criminals, thieves and anti social elements. But who’s responsible for their such a petty and pitiable conditon. It’s we, the governmental departments responsible for their welfare drawing large financoal budgets, the NGOs who claim ofdoing so much for the children of the lowest ebb of the society against heavy funding from India and abroad, the big corporate houses who earn thousands of crores as profit but hardly allocate a minutest portion of it for looking afterthe welfare and well being of these most suffered lot, the rag pickers whose whole life is nothing but a symbol of hell.

Noble proizes are being presented in the name of discouraging child traffic and child labour but what about these millons of malnourished and uneducated rag pickers children of our society. Don’t we or our government agencies owe any responsibility to improvise their future who are literally leading a life in hell? When will we wake up? We want an answer? What’s your take friends?
SUNIL NEGI

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It was on 9th November, 2000 that Uttarakhand acknowledged the constitutional recognition as the separate state. It is on this very day every year since then that the successive and the current governments have been celebrating this day with with complete fanfare using the tax payers’ money by way organising government functions and issuing advertisements highlighting their so called inflated achievements to impress the innocent electorates and protagonists in and outside Uttarakhand.

The two major national parties Congress and BJP have ruled this state turn by turn during the last more than one and a half decades n the latter is still at the political and administrative helm since the last eight months. I also wish to convey you all my heartiest greetings on the 18th foundation day after completing the 17 tumultuous n challenging years after its official formation in the year 2000 after so much of sacrifices and relentless struggles and thousands of activists going to jail after tremendous torture, physical, mental and psychological.

On this day the government of the state, its chief minister and his cabinet colleagues also get a golden opportunity to put forth their so called achievements and the news analysts a reason to asses the successes and failures of the political outfit in power. However it is an open secret that people of Uttarakhand have witnessed 8 chief ministers during the 17 year rule and number of scandals with no single politician going to jail for alleged corruption.

Thanks to the successive governments for their failure in appointing a state LOKAYUKT , despite ample and umpteen commitments. The electorates have always been kept on dark on pivotal issues of health, employment, quality education, their socio economic and all round development during all these years and the unholy nexus between the politicians, corrupt bureaucracy, liquor, land, building, illegal mining and forest mafia always had their fullest say. Even the finacial aid meant for the welfare and well being of the tragic Kedarnath victims of June 2013 have been embezelled.

If honestly anybody have been outrightly benefitted at the instance of achieving statehood 17 years ago, they are obviously and undoubtedly the politicians and the above unholy nexus whereas the families of the real and hard core Uttarakhand movement activists are in immense financial mess.

The politicians have allegedly amassed huge wealth, property and heavy bank balance with bright political future to be conveniently carried forward by their sons and daughters. The pivotal issues of appointment of Lokayukt, capital Gairsain, employment generation, decentralized all round development at the block level has taken the back seat and instead people are being misled under the populist slogans like ” Selfie in your village and Raibaar (message ) by organising highly ostentatious government events without the adequate participation of the village populace and the people who actually matter.

There is complete lack of participatory democracy in the development process of the state. What have we achieved during the last years? Is it the staggering fiscal deficit of 42000 crores. Massive migration of 32 lakh people. Locks in 2.5 lakh village houses. 3000 villages devoid of population . About 2.5 thousand schools closed in the interiors. Hospitals devoid of doctors, compounders, equipments and basic medicines. Lot more is there to be said but time and space is the constrained.

SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM