79 Thursday Blog 23.8.12
My next vision of the plight of these young ones was in a garment exports factory where I worked as computer operator. There were a handful of under-age kids. The owner was quite close to a monster. He made lots of money but under-paid his employees to the level of monstrosity.
Working in a garment factory meant quite serious health hazards, hard work and long hours. These young boys were under-paid miserably so it was almost next to impossible for them to go on leave without pay, and he used to count those twenty or thirty rupee per day quite meticulously even if the boy was not able to stand on his feet properly.
His own grand-children studied in the best schools of Kolkata, I used to write the cheques of their personal expenses too, so I know the thousands of rupee they paid on their school and other expenses.
No, I am not asking them to give away their money on charity. But…..
If they had to appoint these young kids, they might have paid them the money they pay adults and the money they deserve because they work as hard as them. Or maybe are made to work harder because of their obedient nature.
May be, they may have enrolled these kids on their own expense to some local school for such children, where they might have learned something useful for their future.
Basically I believe schooling concept of India has to be changed to make it rational, practical. After belting a graduation degree, learning typing, computers I know how useless Indian degrees are for ordinary students. Whereas, no matter how hostile my family members were I believe if in place of learning history or geography if we were taught beautician course/tailoring/stitching in schools in a pocket-friendly rate that would have helped much in future.
So in place of teaching slum kids Shakespeare they can be taught cell-phone repairing, mechanical repairing etc, along with basic education. That will make their parents happy and them too. More than that it will be useful!
As for my ex-employers they taught me no matter how rich Indians become they seriously suffer from one heart malady- lack of compassion and charity. If we think about the profit they make by underpaying these kids would it really have been a loss to them to train these kids to learn something useful? No. Even then they would have been a gainer in the bargain.