Poverty prospering and thriving in the once royal corridors of Amer Fort! Surprised..! Isn’t it? But then, it is true!
During my recent visit to Amer, I could see poverty glancing through the royal jharokhas (windows) of Amer Fort!
While taking steps to reach on top of the fort, there was this little girl, must be 8-10 years, chasing each and every tourist, to get some money.
In her endeavour to approach me, she caught my skirt and asked me, “Didi, do ek ya do rupey) (give me a rupee or two). I was surprised and I stared at her. Then because of some reasons, I started talking to her. I asked her if she was well-versed with the art of counting and she expressed her inability. She replied in denial when was asked about her school and education. And our conversation continued…
“What will you do with this money?” I asked.
“Will give it to my parents,” she replied.
“What will they do with this money?” was my next question.
“They will bring rice, aata(flour) and vegetables,” she replied with innocent eyes.
I gave a five rupee coin to her and her eyes were shining bright. On seeing this girl getting a Rs five coin, other kids, who too belonged to the ‘have not’ world, came running.
A boy, elder to this girl, was confident enough to come to me and say, “Didi hum sab baant lenge.”
Rs five and you all will distribute? I asked.
He was really confident. “I know counting and he started counting. I always take the money and distribute.”
Survival of fittest was evident here too.
He snatched the money and the entire group of children surrounded him.
But this entire incident forced me to think are we really on the path of development? Are we really serious for child education? If yes, why these kids are not stopped when they beg daily. Why they are not enrolled to school?
Are the NGOs listening? How can we let our future beg in front of foreign tourists? Need some answers but am clueless…Any suggestions? Is another Slumdog Millionaire in the making?