Friday, June 13, 2008

An Ostensible Hope!!

Hope.. for a moment of comfort, for a memory of love, for the human existence to last forever. Hope is that aspect of living which is the most vital element that often goes unnoticed. When is the last time that things happened to you, instead of you waiting for long to see them turn into reality?

The struggle to win the battle of understanding our needs, our aspirations starts with gathering courage to understand and challenge the authority of hope in our life. It is then, only then if I may say, that we start to have a realistic picture of what is within our reach and what is beyond at present. The next stage involves in understanding the kinds of efforts which appear as demands from the nature to achieve the needs and aspirations we have set for ourselves. This again speaks of how 'hopeful' we are, and what aspirations (within our reach or beyond our reach at present) we are aiming at.

Realization of our aspirations again invites 'hope' to be a partner in our continuous struggle to work towards our goals. So all along, it is the hope that defines the vital link and pushes us to work to our or beyond our limits to achieve the desirable. What I gather from my own experience and the reason for me writing this post is, hope is the only element that lasts for ever...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fleeting Realities

Let this wetness,
extend an invite to festoon one’s visage.
Seldom does the surface know,
the utility of moss through old age.

Let this darkness,
resolve the need for juxtaposition.
A dime still encourages men,
to seek beyond reason or position.

Let this coldness,
sweep the continent till the sunrise.
Only when one values the fall,
there is joy in the effort to rise.

Let this consciousness,
be my chief, helping in translation.
I walk alone to fathom,
this poem: my life with systems of scansion.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Child Labor

(This article is regarding one important sector of Human Rights: Children. This article is part of a series of articles written by me for with a focus on Child Labor)

It is estimated that 165 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour worldwide. Millions of children are engaged in hazardous work environments like mines, working with petro-chemicals and pesticides. From Sub-Saharan Africa where around one in three children are engaged in child labour, representing 69 million children to South Asia, where 44 million are engaged in child labour because of poverty.

A study demonstrated the parallels between the historical pattern of the decline in child labor in the United States and situations today in developing countries. It is understood that the greater the extent of poverty in a country, the greater the amount of child labor, the relationship holding within a country over time as well as across countries at a given point in time. Though poverty may be a determinant of child labor, it cannot be examined in the absence of cultural and social factors, such as education, culture, and urbanization. Another Study points that child labor is deeply rooted in poverty and social customs. Thus, one reason for such high labor force participation is that working children are from impoverished families. There are several social and cultural explanations for widespread child labor in developing countries.

The effect of being sold into slave labor has the obvious physical scars from the constant beatings the children receive, their inhumane living conditions, and the practical starvation that the employers impose on them. However, the effects of slavery do not merely affect the physical well-being of the children. They also suffer from emotional scars. In addition to the risks that they face, there are also many negative side effects of exposing children to the excessive demands of adult labor. These side effects not only manifest themselves in the children’s health and growth, but also in their access to education. In fact, it is rare to find children who, over a prolonged period of time, manage to balance their studies with their daily chores. More than half of children laborers have never attended school, and those who have rarely finish the first cycle of elementary school. As researchers have noted, boycotting exports of goods produced by children may actually worsen the welfare and well-being of those children and their families, first by lowering their living standards and second by pushing children into dangerous work endeavors, such as begging and prostitution. This speaks of the need for a sustainable development plan to include the marginalized sections of the society to best tackle the growing numbers of child abuse.

If we can understand the dynamics of poverty, education, and child labor, we may be in a position to create more effective ways of eliminating child labor through education and economic development efforts. The problem of child labour, being inextricably linked with poverty and illiteracy, cannot be solved by legislation alone and a concerted effort to tackle this problem will bring in the desired sustainable growth.