Being trafficked a better option for Godda kids

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Peter, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Being trafficked is a better option for Godda kids
    - One hopeless year of homecoming

    Ranchi, June 11: On June 12, 2014, 85 Muslim families of Godda were handed back 119 children from Kerala, giving the state government a chance to pat its back at having foiled a mega trafficking incident.

    A year later, the parents wished the children had not been brought back. Not because they don't love their own, but because they are too poor to raise them properly and the state has not kept its promise to educate them.


    The Godda families would rather send off their children to orphanages in Kerala - which they willingly did last year - than keep them at home and wait for the cycle of poverty to repeat itself.

    The state promised to start a residential school last year when the children were united with their parents at Mahagama DAV School, Godda, amid noisy bureaucratic and media attention.

    A year on, and it has done nothing.

    Last year, parents were also told that their children would study at a residential school to start at a new ITI building in Poreyahaat block. Eligible girls would be sent to state-run Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, officials promised.

    A year later, there's no residential school in sight. Godda's nazarat deputy collector K.D. Rajak claimed 12 girls had been sent to Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, but villagers alleged these were not from among the Kerala-returned lot.

    Md Khalid, a farmer of Jahajquitta village in Basantrai block, explained why he preferred a Kerala orphanage for his children.

    "Some years ago, I'd sent one son to a Kerala orphanage after a lot of heartburn, but I was so happy to see his studies and health that last year I sent two more children, aged 10 and seven. The two came back. What have we gained?" he asked.

    Asked to elaborate, he said: "The village school doesn't teach. I'm sending my son to a private school, paying Rs 300 as his fees. So, my daughter stays at home. Can't afford to school both. If this goes on, I'll try to send them (to Kerala) again."

    Widow Mehrunnisa of Sanchpur Sankhi village in Basantrai block is worried about her eight-year-old son who could not reach Kerala orphanage last year.

    "My elder son is a labourer. In the absence of a proper school in my village, I'd hoped my younger son would study in Kerala and become somebody. The state got him back. Here, he plays all day. A couple of years on, he'll be breaking stones."

    On May 24, Railway Protection Force at Kerala's Palakkad station had detained 465 children who were passengers in Patna-Ernakulam train, bound for an orphanage in Kozikode.

    In all, 262 belonged to Jharkhand. The state government swung into action to bring back the children to their dirt-poor families in Godda.

    On June 12, 119 children between five and 13 years were handed over to parents while 20 others returned later. Others, who were staying in Kerala orphanages but had come to Godda on vacation and were returning when they were caught at Palakkad station, managed to stay on in the coastal state.

    They were the lucky ones.

    For, last June, when then chief minister Hemant Soren announced an immediate probe into why children were being sent to an orphanage when they had parents in Godda, the answer was obvious.

    The parents were so poor that they didn't bother about the credentials of orphanages or the murky nature of voluntary trafficking that got Jharkhand and Kerala governments worried.

    Hemant had sounded out the idea of a residential school for these rescued children before then principal secretaries of home and welfare N.N. Pandey and L. Khiangte, then CM's principal secretary Sukhdev Singh, then social welfare secretary Rajeev Arun Ekka, then DGP Rajeev Kumar and then Godda SP Ajay Linda.

    A year on, when The Telegraph called up an IAS-ranked officer in Godda on this matter, he refused to speak on record.

    "Listen, this is a very special case," he parried. "The state social welfare, labour and HRD departments are expected to send guidelines on arrangements for the children soon."

    K.D. Rajak, Godda nazarat deputy collector, said they conducted a survey to find out the living conditions of parents on the basis of which BPL cards were being issued. "We want holistic development, we want to help parents first so that they don't feel compelled to send children away," he claimed, but did not share any numbers.

    The new Godda deputy development commissioner Ranjan Choudhary claimed he knew nothing.

    The Telegraph asked Sunil Kumar Barnwal, IAS, secretary to chief minister Raghubar Das, whether the state had forgotten its Godda children.

    "How can we just forget them? I will definitely take up the matter with the chief minister and departments concerned," he promised.


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    Link-

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150612/jsp/frontpage/story_25231.jsp#.VXpEDvmqqko


    @Mad Indian
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  3. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is a tragic tale of poverty and illiteracy . It is high time that population control measures are strictly enforced in these rural areas. Also the govt should massively increase educational funding. Till these things are done we will continue to hear such sad tales from across the country.
     

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