Disgraceful Lemons

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“This World Day against Child Labour comes at a critical juncture in the global campaign against child labour and the goal of ending its worst forms by 2016. …
We must accelerate action to reach this goal.”
(Juan Somavia – Director-General of the International Labour Organization)
Message for World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June 2010


This picture was shot a few days ago in front of a five star Hotel in Varanasi (Benaras), it was one of the hotest day of the year.
Those two very young children were selling lemons, there was no adult with them, I saw many buyers coming and bargaining as there was no difficulty to negociate with those kids.
As a matter of fact it was the only concern of all those adults who were standing there.
None of them reacted, people were even wondering why I was taking pictures.

In the “biggest democracy in the world”, child labor is a crime like it is in any other country.
Whowever the exploitation of young children for labor is an accepted practice in Northern India.

Since I started to upload this file with pictures standing against Human Rights Violations and Human trafficking on several of my websites I get many comments and mails from people who don’t understand why I am raising my voice for this purpose.

The reason is that I should not have to justify those pictures nor my words as child labor is absolutly wrong and besides I truly think that there is no deal nor concession to make with providers or users of child labor.

Uploading those pictures is not a lack of respect to India nor to its traditions, the rest of my photostream shows my respect and true love for the country.

Of course I understand that this can be disturbing for those who are so used to have children working for them or to those for whom this is such a common thing that it became normal to see this without feeling anything wrong about it.

I don’t agree with those who say that we can’t change this.
I don’t agree with those who say that it’s not of my concern and that this is the job of politics.
I don’t agree with those who are sorry for the condition of the pets on the pictures but don’t feel anything towards the children.
I don’t agree with those who say that it is a helpless cause.
I don’t agree with those who say that it is a consequence of poverty and that charity is useless.

This situation must stop, first people have to understand it is wrong, then if everyone stop using children they will have no other choice than to go to school.
Everyone knows that families who are ailing with poverty perceive their children as an income generating resource to supplement the family income and they also say that they can’t afford education so we all have to work on this and find answers which can satisfy the parents as well.

Today the Indian parliament has passed a bill to provide universal, free and compulsory education for all children so it is our duty to make this work.
It is our duty to interfere otherwise we all become sinners of complicity…

I am living and working in India since a long time, therefore I have the right to stand for those kids in order that we can all live in a better society without being ashamed of any situation that we have allowed to happen.

How could people forget the meaning of LOVE & COMPASSION…

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