Tue, 25 Jun, 2024

People Special: Opinion on a Kid Who is Deprived of Education

By Barsha Dahal

Have you seen a small boy working in DWIT nowadays? I just saw that boy yesterday. I felt woebegone by seeing those hands made for books and copies busy carrying heavy items. More than sad, I was shocked. Our College which has formed a Social Service Club and motivates students to help the less fortunate children by donating books is letting that child work inside the college. I did not find this good. It has been about a few days that DWIT has started renovation and reconstruction. Asmita Subedi, one of my friends said, “Barsha, I am excited to see renovated DWIT, aren’t you?” I nodded and said nothing. What could I say? That scenario of a small boy working in our basketball court wasn’t leaving my mind. Many questions were troubling me. Why was that child here instead of school? Why is that boy not playing happily? Why is he so silent? Ugh! These questions wouldn’t let me go back home and do my work. Being determined to know the truth, I went towards the basketball court. I asked him his name. He was a shy boy. He said that his name was Harka Bahadur Tamang. The conversation went on, and I got to know that he had studied upto third grade. When asked why he had left his school, he didn’t reply. After a minute or two, he looked down, went behind his brother and with tears in his eyes said, “I don’t want to continue my study. I want to work and earn some money because education is not going to feed me.” I was silent for a moment. Being a bachelor’s student, the thought of money being required to feed oneself had never occurred to me. And that boy was just 14 years old, but his thought was more critical than mine. He said that he lives with his brother in Kathmandu. When I asked him whether he would study if someone gives him that opportunity, he told no and his brother said, “He doesn’t want to study so I bring him here to work with me.” I was extremely surprised! If a child rejects to eat, then will his parents let him sleep hungry? No, parents will force their child to eat, but how could his parent-like brother easily say that he won’t let him study since he doesn’t want to? I don’t think that child is in the position to know what will education make him in his future or figure out the importance of studying. He could be a teacher rather than a worker. He could pay others for their work rather than carry rods and heavy loads. Education could feed him with the money of respect and love. He is not a single boy who is carrying rods instead of a bag with books. There are thousands of such boys and girls in Nepal and millions in the entire world. Who is responsible for such a situation? Government talks about child labor and it is taken as a crime in our law. But even today, I can see people keeping children in their homes for doing their work. However, our government is still silent. Let aside the government, what about my own College? I am sure my College hasn’t noticed it. Otherwise that boy wouldn’t be seen in our College carrying loads and moving here and there. Whatever it be, it’s not appealing to see that boy helping his brother in such a heavy work. Can our government not provide free education to such children? Those innocent children of today are the future of our country. They aren’t going to remain children forever. They will be strong youths of tomorrow and for the betterment of our country, all they require is to be educated. Why aren’t the so-called great people realizing the fact that child labor isn’t only the murder of a child’s innocent childhood, which ought to be full of joy, but  is also a great loss for a country. The country is going to lose its strong backbones and competitive brains. We have taken a vow to help develop our country. Our dream to see Nepal as a developed and happy country will never come true if such problems sustain. Our country has given us everything. Now, it’s our time to bring a change. Why not to start it from us? From our own College, DWIT? Say no to child labor and yes to education from today. Hey everyone, just go and look at basketball court right now. Is that little boy still working there?