Everyday in newspapers, we read tales of cruelty against domestic servants. Young boys and girls are subjected to endless drudgery, beaten up and abused in other ways. If they give in to small temptations of childhood, they are branded thieves. If the children of their masters complain against them, swift and instant ‘justice’ is meted out without any opportunity of hearing. They are locked up without food and water. When they sometimes suffer grievous injuries due to torture, they are not given proper medical treatment for the fear that their masters will be exposed.
Such children have no where to go. Their parents depend on the money they earn and can easily turn a blind eye to their plight. It is only when media or alert neighbours come to know about them that they can hope for rescue. But how many of them can be so fortunate?
If this is the situation in metropolitan cities like Delhi, what will be the situation in smaller places where media presence is limited and domestic servants are more easily available?
A strong law and effective implementation is required to protect these children, give them the opportunity of education and restore their childhood to them. The society needs to be sensitised about their plight. NGOs can play an important role in this task. But the most important factor, perhaps, is to find a solution to the economic issues that lead to such disasters in the first place.
We call ourselves human beings, but for small comforts, we can forget all humanity and display the most barbaric behaviour. This streak in human beings is most difficult to explain.