I have never gone back to this one orphanage .. its run by Mother Teresa’s sister team in gurgaon and houses some 30 little girls and boys. I have visited them a couple of times with some of my friends from work. The last time I visited was during Christmas and we had taken a whole lot of new sweaters and caps, mufflers etc. While the children sang Christmas carols and ate the chocolates we had taken, the mother of the house told me separately while talking about the challenges – every single one of those children had been sexually abused. The instant that I heard it and the shock of hearing it is still etched in my mind. These were little boys and girls, not more than 7 or 8 years old and they were already abused ….. I find it difficult to go back and face them knowing that in some way as an adult I have let them down.
Today’s episode of Satyamev Jayate had this as the topic and the shocking statistic is 53% of India’s children are sexually abused. As with all other statistics, this too maybe a muted number. Its horrifying to think that this is the world into which we bring innocent lives… Of the 53% – 53% are boys who are abused. Its almost always a relative or a close friend of the family who does it. Parents do not want to believe it and that itself becomes a barrier for the child to tell. The most shocking of all is the fact that there is no law to deal with the offenders. It was a sad day today when the Childline representative shared with the audience that it took ten years for them to put two men who were abusers behind bars and that too only after Childline moved the Supreme court !! Its our collective failure – we adults who probably were also victims.
There is a pending bill in the Rajya Sabha, that will bring a law against child abuse. We need to all sign the memo that Aamir Khan and the Satyamev Jayate team have created. Visit the website now and sign it by answering the question that is asked – you are helping put a nail into a paedophile’s coffin before he puts a nail in your child’s heart and scars him/her for life !