The sun is scorching the earth today. It is very hot. It makes my head spin, but I am not allowed a moment of rest. Mother is nearby, and if she sees me slacking off, she will hit me. I don’t think she would notice. I fell once before, but she had no pity on me. All she did was splash water on my face, and when I stood up giddy; she shook me and told me to start working again. That is my life. No one cares about me, and the people who I thought cared for me, they only care about money, food and themselves.
The construction site where I work is far outside of the city, the policemen they don’t come so far out to see if something wrong is going on. I heard from another kid, that making us work like this is wrong. I am seven years old in a few days, but I haven’t seen any place other than this construction site. Mother never lets me out of her sight. I think she is afraid that I might run away. She’d put me on a chain, if I ever did that. It’s how she is these days. Only she wants the money.
I start working early morning. The kids who are of my age, they sometimes pass by me on their bicycles, with satchels on their shoulder, uniform and all. I have always wanted to go like that, to school to study, hold a pen in my hand and write a few words. The only thing I have to hold in my hand is this shovel. Taking the mud from one place and dumping it into another. I don’t know if I will ever see my dream come true. I don’t want to live in a house with a leaky roof, to work all day to earn so less that we can’t afford good clothes, I want a doll to play with, to go to school with friends and to have fun.
I want to smell the flowers in my hair, not the sweat and mud. I don’t want to be abused for being born on this earth. Sometimes I have to work through the day, ignoring those glances that the people I work for throw at me. They look at me with malice, cruelty, ignorance, threat, sometimes even lust. If I stop working, they scold me in words I cannot understand. I’ve heard them being thrown at my mom. I think it is rude. I have to carry the weighty bags up the steps, and work without food.
Don’t I deserve some kindness, some pity, and some joy? I want to go after my dreams, not just money. I want to hold a pen, not a shovel. I want to work, but not where someone abuses me. I want to be loved, not controlled. I want friends too. I want to be a kid and have some fun. I hope someone hears about my dreams being torn apart, and comes rescue me from this prison. I will go away, make those dreams true and come back to take away my mother from all this. I want to run away, but I am afraid of those chains.
Do come help me soon. If you know anyone like me, then help them too. You can make someone else’s dream come true too, not only yours.
Hear my plea, Help me.
Author’s Note: I’ve tried to place myself in her position and write this post. I don’t know how it has turned out. Apologies if it has not come out as expected. Hope I have done her pain justice. Child Labour should be tackled hard. Just because they are unable to retort to us, doesn’t mean we take advantage of them. It’s time we took a stand. What say folks?