"Thirty nine per cent of India's population, which is about 434 million, is below 18 years. Out of this, a huge bulk is below 15 years. The Indian government has not taken up the responsibility of taking care of this huge child population. Even today, several schools do not have separate bathrooms for girls and boys or even for students and teachers. In trains, you will always find a note saying, 'Passengers please take care of unescorted children'. If this is the attitude of the Railways, what else can we expect? How can the Railways place this kind of responsibility on co-passengers, when trains across the country are used extensively in child trafficking. Children have rights, but we, as a country, do not want to take their responsibility. Look at any temple town/pilgrimage place, young children are made to work even though we clearly have laws against child labour. If a child is working, it automatically violates the RTE Act, which states that children are entitled to free and compulsory education."
Nishit Kumar, a Malad resident, is the Head of Communication & Strategic Initiatives at Childline India Foundation.
As told to Pooja Patel, firstname.lastname@example.org