“Aap Phir Kab Aaoge?”
This Children’s Day, breaking away from the norm of visiting schools, Ramendra Kumar spent time with the children in an ‘Observation Home’ which is housed inside a prison campus.
Every Children’s Day I am invited to a school, a club or a socio-cultural organisation where I interact with kids like mine – privileged, pampered and precocious. After a cultural programme, a string of boring speeches and presentation of prizes, the proud parents go home with their weary children.
This time I decided to do something different. I visited an ‘Observation Home’ which is housed inside a prison campus. An Observation Home is a euphemism for juvenile delinquents who are serving a term for different crimes including drug abuse, theft, rape, murder, et al.
I shared a story, we chanted a magic mantra and ended up jiving to the tunes of Badtameez Dil.
Seeing their childlike smiles, infectious laughter and their ability to unleash masti at the slightest bit of encouragement, I forgot I was among ‘criminals’. To me these children of a ‘children of a lesser God’ appeared as normal as our kids and far less affected.
So who is responsible for this state of affairs? Are this kids perpetrators of crimes or simply victims of circumstance – situations created by a callous and cruel society.
As I was leaving one of them clasped my hand and asked, “Aap phir kab aoge?”
My (Children’s) Day was made.
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